Summer Social Media Blockbusters
Casey Hines | @caseyagogo and Meredith Darling | @merdar Recently, social media for films has not just been about evangelizing productions, but connecting with the fan base. It goes back to the basic tenant of when customers know a company values their opinions and creates original content solely for their enjoyment, they’re more likely to spend money because they can claim exclusivity. Viral teaser videos, direct communication with filmmakers, and special content - building excitement goes beyond just relying on word of mouth; it targets and encourages conversation between moviegoers.
This summer thriller is the suggested prequel of Ridley Scott’s epic Alien franchise. With beautifully futuristic design, a heartpounding thriller of a script, and a cast of renowned actors, Prometheus grossed a whopping $3.5 million just from the midnight showings on the day the film was released.
The Prometheus Facebook is in a word, slick. As it should be for a multi-million dollar film. The page posts content promoting the film and TV app GetGlue, events about the film, and even fan artwork. Not only is there a page, but an app takes fans directly to the official social media feeds. Tabs include exclusive content about the film, Prometheus merchandise, photos, and a promotion for the fictitious Weyland Corporation.
Prometheus screenwriter Damon Lindelof took advantage of chats on Twitter to talk about the film before it opened. On May 16th, he hosted a chat using the hashtag #prometheus for followers and fans to ask questions about the movie. Shortening the distance between influencers and people who want to start discussions is the overall genius of Twitter, and I expect other filmmakers to follow Lindelof’s lead.
A number of YouTube videos have been released promoting the film and intriguing audiences. Two of the standout ones are a futuristic Ted Talk and a commercial for Michael Fassbender’s android character, David. Viral videos round out the story and atmosphere of a film, and are quickly shared through communities.
The Dark Knight Rises
The third installment of Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy premieres next month, but the social media buzz has been exploding since last fall.
With people already buying tickets to the July 20 release, it's no surprise that The Dark Knight Rises has already made a big impression on Facebook. The fan page is a virtual smorgasbord of all things Batman. From Gotham City to movie theater locations, this is where fans go to stay updated. While I can understand it's a Facebook page about the third movie, I would still have liked to see an updated timeline with milestones to follow Batman's story from the beginning.
What would Batman tweet about? Unfortunately, he wouldn’t. Interestingly enough, there is no official Dark Knight Rises Twitter account. On the film’s website, the only social media that’s being promoted is the Facebook page. But not having a Batwitter didn’t limit the potential of the amazing global marketing campaigns that took place in May.
The use of viral content was taken to the next level with two extremely creative campaigns. Before the current The Dark Knight Rises website went up a few months ago, the site only showed a very strange audio track. Eventually, a fan discovered the spectrum in the audio spelled out the hashtag #thefirerises. From that clue, another fan found the Twitter account @TheFireRises last fall. Links from this account led to an image of Batman’s nemesis, Bane--but on a closer look, the image was actually a mosaic made up of Facebook and Twitter profile pictures of users who shared the site on their social networks.
Not to mention the movie's December 19 trailer release got 12.5 million views via iTunes, breaking the previous record by 2 million. The second interactive campaign was based on the Gotham Police Department’s world-wide search for Batman. All around the globe, bat graffiti was placed in specific locations, and users were asked to take photos, then Tweet with the hashtag #TDKR07202012(the release date of the film) or email them to the Gotham P.D. as “evidence”. Whenever a photograph was sent in, a frame of a new trailer was unlocked. Part scavenger hunt and part community effort made this marketing campaign very cool and continued the trend of catering exclusively to the needs and wants of fan bases.
We've all made the wish as children that our stuffed furry friend would come to life. What we failed to think about, as all kids do, are the consequences. Meet Ted.
Like the movie, Ted's Facebook page is for mature audiences only. Ted entertains over 492,000 fans via comical posts and photos. My favorite feature of the Facebook page is the "My Wild Night With Ted" tab that lets you insert various Teds into your photos.
It's time to face reality. A talking stuffed bear has more Twitter followers than I do. Ted opened the tweet lines to his 155,000+ followers for a chat June 6. Most of what was said isn't kosher for a company blog, but he did end the conversation as follows:
Ok, gang! That was fun and terrible! Thanks for all your Q's. Sorry if I didn't get to you. I did it in order of hotness...
Ted has made quite an impression on Facebook as well. The trailer has been viewed over six million times. You can watch videos of the lovable bear in all sorts of scenarios, as well as in a personal birthday greeting to co-star Mark Wahlberg. Family Guy creators didn't let their imaginations stop there. Ted even has his own blog, titled "Ted is coming." If you didn't get to know him well enough from videos, Facebook posts, and tweets, take a deeper dive into the anything-but-appropriate mind of Ted on Tumblr. With social media networking's continued growth, you can expect the social media presence of movies to be as entertaining as the movies themselves.
With social media networking's continued growth, you can expect to see more movies taking advantage and you may find to be their social media presence as entertaining as the movies themselves.