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Viral Marketing and Film

nicoleponsford | Wednesday September 05, 2012

Categories: Film Industry, Film Marketing, Hot Entries

Marketing is not just ‘advertising’ a film, but is an umbrella term for the involved process, or strategy, of selling a product. The initial marketing strategy is to choose a target market - the target audience.

In the movies, this target audience is identified early on in the pre-production process, just as it would be with marketing any other product. The production studios will have a very clear and defined audience in mind for their film / movie / production / text. This then enables the studio to create a campaign based on the genre and the specific people it wants to attract.

Genre marketing is relatively simple as it brings in generic conventions (images of futuristic locations, costumes and ‘aliens’ for a science fiction piece). We know that hybrid films use cross-generic representations in order to bring in fans of different / multiple genres (add some explosions and guns for the action-adventure fans, or a romantic pose to attract the chick-flick crowd). The USP (unique selling point) illustrates how this particular film stands out from the rest.

Another aspect of the marketing strategy will be test screenings to ensure that the audience enjoys what they see. What happens if they do not like it? This can even lead to the narrative / film being changed in order to appeal better to its potential viewers. As you can see, this is a well planned and expensive process. The promotion budget for a Hollywood film can sometimes outshine that of an independent film’s entire budget.

Traditionally, marketing used to be based mainly on print (posters, billboards (click on image to enlarge), interviews for example) and broadcast (TV and radio spots, PR work with the stars, trailers and press packs for journalists). Many of these forms are costly and are paid for as a means of communicating with the potential audience.

Today the internet is being utilised in innovative and - arguably - cheaper campaigns, which are able to...

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