Tom at TheMediaDrop takes a look at niche-marketing, specifically whole it relates to cable networks and their programming. Here’s my response to what he wrote (surf over to TMD and then come back):

I agree that niche is good in general but I don’t think that applies so much to television. The very nature of TV is based on mass appeal and attracting a large audience. Productions are so expensive (compared to websites and such) that getting too focused on a core audience means that producers are foregoing the economy of scale.

Being as focused as I am on movie marketing this is being played out on the adverstising level in that industry. Studios aren’t seeing the return on investment in producing or airing too many TV commercials and are instead focusing on industry-centric mags and websites.

Those few movie TV ads I have seen are for movies that are not seen as sure things. For instance I saw a ton of commercials for Hostage with Bruce Willis but almost none for Miss Congeniality 2. It seems the studio was so desperate to build any sort of audience for Hostage that they resorted to advertising on TV whereas with MC2 they didn’t have to. They knew there would be tons of press since it involved Sandra Bullock and was a sequel.

It’s not a direct comparison from advertising to network programming but I think the points are similar.