New feeds

If it seems like forever since I’ve posted anything here it’s because…well…it’s been forever since I posted anything here.  The actual job has been keeping me pretty busy but that should downshift in the near future.

Before I get back to the exciting content you are waiting for, though, here are some new blogs I’m adding to my RSS feed list bringing the total number of feeds I read to 288:

Busy couple of weeks

Work – my actual job – has been kicking my ass the last couple weeks. That’s why there haven’t been any new columns up. If I had a bit more time I likely would have at least covered all or some of the following: Basic Instinct 2, Inside Man, Brick, Lonesome Jim and Slither. The next couple weeks should be back to normal, though.

iMediaConnection – The Movie Marketing Brand Experience

I’ve been asked by iMediaConnection to author a series of short articles on movie marketing and how marketers can and should be utilizing interactive technologies. Before I get into that, though, a brief introduction of myself. I’ve been writing a column, and then a blog, called “Movie Marketing Madness”, which is one of only two blogs or sites on the net devoted solely to movie marketing campaigns. In addition to my PR/marketing education and experience, I’m also an avid movie fan, so Movie Marketing Madness is a mashup of two of my biggest passions and interests.

One of the biggest issues I’ve been focusing on in the last year is how movie studios can or have (or have not) optimally leveraged new media opportunities like blogs, podcasts and RSS. If you’re not using these techniques, you are missing a vital opportunity to stay in touch with your audience, as well as a vast resource of useful consumer research and feedback. In this series of articles, I’m going to tackle one topic at a time and try to explain how these technologies can best be used by movie studios and their marketing agents to both monitor and have a voice in the conversations going on about their products.

Source: Making Your Movie a Brand Experience

Trailer Round-up for 3/28/06

Things are a little crazy here at MMM headquarters, which of course coincides with a whole mess of new trailers. In order to clear out the queue I thought I’d offer this round-up instead of a whole bunch of separate posts.

  • The promotional reel Warner Bros. created to promote Poseidon at ShoWest is now online.
  • The 9/11/01 drama Flight 93 gets a fantastic full trailer but has been renamed United 93, which I think is less effective.
  • An American Haunting is trailered.
  • Even more Donald Sutherland in this trailer for American Gun.
  • Waist Deep is hip deep in crap.
  • Flicka is exactly what it you would expect it to be.
  • Keeping up With the Steins looks pretty funny but will likely die before anyone has a chance to notice.
  • Steve Carell looks to extend his career beyond comedy with what seems to be a great turn in Little Miss Sunshine. The rest of the cast seems solid as well. This could be a surprise hit.

Success, budgets and reaching influencers

The other day I had the distinct pleasure of meeting for the first time Joseph Jaffe, marketing guru, blogger and book author. He was in Chicago and we were able chat a bit over breakfast and I have to say that as bright a guy in person as he is in print or on his podcast.

I won’t bore you with the details of everything we talked about but one part of the conversation did seem pertinent enough that I wanted to mention it. He asked me what dollar amount would constitute a successful movie. Immediately in my mind I discounted huge big-budget releases. The budgets on those are out of control and the grosses just haven’t measured up in recent years. Instead I thought of the smaller releases that dominated this year’s Academy Awards and specifically of Capote. So I threw out the number $40 million as being a good benchmark for success.

The reason I chose Capote is that it is, financially, an unqualified success. The budget, according to the IMDb, was $7 million and it made as of March 12th, $27 million. That’s a return of almost four times on investment. So I took it up to $40 million just to have a nice round number to play with and I’m not the strongest math mind on the planet.

Here’s where Jaffe went with that. $40 million at an average $8 a ticket means 5,000,000 people actually entered the theater. Then figure half those people weren’t the primary decision makers in choosing to see that movie but were taken by someone else. That means 2,500,000 chose to see the movie. Now take into account the idea of what Malcolm Gladwell calls Salesmen or what are more commonly referred to as “influencers.” Influencers account for about one out of every ten people and are high motivators in their particular groups. So if you take one out of ten from that 2,500,000 that leaves 250,000

So now the marketing equation has changed. Studios don’t need to reach an audience of 5,000,000 in order to make a movie that cost $10 million a success on the order of Capote. They need now only focus on reaching 250,000. How different is that and what strategies are going to best reach that select group of influencers?

TV commercials and expensive online ad purchases on the major portals such as Yahoo! are very good at reaching a large number of eyeballs in a short amount of time. The problem with doing so is that you’ve reached, say 3 million people inside of 12 hours. But how many of those are actually going to be motivated enough to see the movie? 1 percent or less? The marketing team has now spent a lot of money to reach 30,000 or fewer people. What’s the return on investment there? Not good.

So change the thinking. Instead of going for reach target the campaign at those influencers. Find some widely read blogs, forums and other sites that cater to people who are discussing films both specific and general. The amount of dollars spent on a campaign that is highly targeted like this will be less than buying a series of commercial spots and the people reached will be much more likely to take what’s being said seriously. It won’t just fade into the clutter of other marketing messages for them.

Marketers can spend a lot of money either reaching a broad group of untargeted people and influence a small percentage of that group or they can spend less money reaching a targeted group who are not only interested themselves but who will influence others.

[P.S.: CNN has a story about how the future of movies lies in the niches and not in the broad audiences that dovetails nicely with my thoughts.]

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Ton of official websites

So many new official sites have gone up or been upgraded in the last day or so that it’s just easier to put them in one post.

  • Sony has put up the official website for R.V.. There’s some interesting stuff on there, including some unusually amusing games. There’s also a link to some sort of promotional tour that will be travelling across the country but there’s no details on what that tour consists of.
  • Sony has also launched the teaser site for the animated Monster House. Not much there now except some brief info and the trailer.
  • There are some nice communal and viral elements to the official site for Scary Movie 4. One has a caption contest and there are others. Pretty cool effort.
  • The site for Mission: Impossible III has gotten an upgrade. Instead of just videos like it used to be there’s now some actual movie info and more.

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Testing RSS…again

Please let what I just did fix the RSS issues I’ve been having. Pleeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaase…………….

Testing RSS

Can someone tell me if this came through the existing RSS feed alright?


Welcome to the new Movie Marketing Madness

The time has finally come and Movie Marketing Madness is its own full-fledged website. No more blogspot hosting, I’m now at! Blogger still powers the site and there are still a few technical issues to hammer out but I’m here now.

I have changed the RSS feed in a way that should be seamless for those of you who read me via RSS. Let me know if you have any questions or concerns in the coming days with the shift. I’ve also updated some of the links on the left so as to reflect the new URL.


More Chicago XXX blogging

Chicago XXX, the new record from the legendary rock group, hits stores today. The Chicago Sun-Times has a nice article on it as well as the requisite short history of the band. I could not be more excited and will be picking this up ASAP.