Hollywood 101 for Marketers
#UsBlogs week 4 theme: “What we learn from the movies”
To understand what we can learn from the movies, we need to first break down a movie into its constituent elements;
- An idea – All good stories start with ideas and a movie is no exception, the screenplay is everything.
- Cast, crew & production – Getting the right skillet on board can help in ways that you couldn’t even start to imagine.
- Marketing – Finally you need to get the word out, to get those proverbial ‘bums on seats’.
- Distribution – Sure it starts in the cinema, but after that there is still DVD, TV and all the licensing.
So let’s look at what we can learn from these pieces and how they can help us in our brand, marketing and communications challenges.
1. The idea
There aren’t multiple story types, only different ways of bringing them to life; and this is no different in marketing plans, the key lies in execution, execution, and execution. It’s no longer enough to have a big idea, these are a dime a dozen – but knowing how to use the tools available and bring them to life, this is where success really lies. The combination of an idea and how it is brought to life using media channels and technology is the killer app, this is where brands can pull ahead of the pack and create a real difference.
Sequels too are about how to stretch an idea and give it even more executions – exactly as we sometimes try to take a TV spot and make it into a microsite, well done it can be a success and badly done it is simply brochureware.
Humour is a global currency, crossing languages, cultures and borders, making people laugh is the way to their hearts.
2. Cast, crew and production
This is where we get down to resources and how we execute on the ground – just as in the movies, big budgets don’t equal success – but they can help – it is more about thinking carefully about objectives and target groups. Check out my post on Synchronisation and Convergence to see how it isn’t just about plastering a key visual on every spot of available media.
Similarly, big names can drive sales even without content (most of the time) – Get a cool enough celebrity or an awarded actor and you’ll be sure to have a good opening weekend, but only with a great idea (and execution) and a good back-up team (supporting actor) can you maintain the hype over time.
3. Marketing & PR
The movies press conference circuit is harsh – if you’ve seen Sofia Coppola’s latest movie Somewhere you’ll see just what the actors get dragged through to get the press, and therefore the public, excited before the release.
A teaser really has to tease; making trailers in the movie business is a fine art – giving away enough to hook you, but leaving you frustrated to fill in the gaps (think about The Blair Witch Project). Brands are often uncomfortable about teasers (or even virals) and want to add in their logo, the product visual, the brand message and even the product benefits because they think they’re losing valuable consumer facetime – sometimes less is more.
Just because the film is out, it doesn’t end there – this is really only the start of something that can be used and reused in multiple ways – creating content is the first step and how that content is leveraged in different ways across multiple platforms, that is where the business model lies.
Those movie guys know their stuff, and have made a business out of it too!
WEEK 4 ROUNDUP – WHAT WE LEARN FROM THE MOVIES
- Review Your Movie by Kenny Rose. @grit08
- Your Brains On Story by Jennifer Williams. @verilliance
- What Hollywood Has Ben Trying To Tell Us by Freddie Winckler. @lefreddie
- Mark Goes For An Oscar by Mark Robertson. @markosul
- Movies: How They Impact Our Lives by Libby Baker Sweiger. @libbytalks
- Going Beyond 120 Minutes… by Patrick Prothe. @pprothe
- After The Credits Roll, What Lessons From Oscar? by Steve Birkett. @abovethestatic
- Five Start-Up Lessons We Learn From Movies by Mark. @youternmark
- What We Don’t Learn From The Movies by Robert Ortiz. @robertortiz
- Hollywood 101 For Marketers by Lex Bradshaw-Zanger. @lexbz
- Movie Revelations by Kat Caverly. @greetums
- Online Video Success by Heidi Cohen. @heidicohen
- What We Learn From The Godfather by Cary Branscum. @carybranscum
- Can Social Media Predict The Oscars? by Brad Spychalski. @bradspy
- What Toy Story 3 Taught Me About Bullies by Michelle Price. @prosperitygal