Entertainment marketing has typically relied on the 'spray and pray' model of marketing and advertising in the past. The studio makes a big movie, they allocate a ton of money for P&A (prints and advertising) and then they sit back and pray they make their numbers on opening day.
Those days are gone. Long gone. The business of blockbusters is so huge - with literally billions of dollars on the line - that eliminating risk and ensuring success is a full-time job everyone, including the marketing teams.
Especially as the global market heats up - and domestic in-theatre revenues are stagnant or declining - the need for a sure bet is bigger than ever.
Enter the new science of Influencer Marketing. Using influencers (a cousin to the 'spokesperson') is not a new concept in advertising. Brand association with someone 'cool' is almost always a winner. That someone has usually been a celebrity.
Not so much anymore. Here's what's changed: These days it's the social media influencers studios are courting. And there's a huge reason why. People like Keegan Allen 2.5M Instagram followers, or Joey Graceffa with 4.5M YouTube subscribers are able to reach their rabid audience at the drop of a hat.
Those are jaw-dropping numbers, not to be ignored. And because it's digital, the numbers are measurable.
That's why Keegan and Joey were enlisted for the recent The Divergent Series: Insurgent movie marketing campaign in a mutually-beneficial partnership with the studio (Lionsgate), and the agency (TheAmplify).
I spoke with Justin Rezvani, CEO of TheAmplify about the virtual reality campaign his team put together. He emphasized the importance of delivering Influencer Marketing at scale. "Being able to reach a target audience at scale is the game-changer we provide", he said about his company. And the studio loved the data-driven approach the virtual reality mobile application provided.
As the 2015 summer blockbuster season approaches, look for more creative uses of social and mobile to create immersive movie experiences for the fans and audiences. Hmmm, I wonder what Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens is cooking up? Can't wait!
Beverly Macy is the CEO of Gravity Summit LLC, a digital media strategy company located in Beverly Hills, CA. She teaches at UCLA Anderson School of Management and is the author of The Power of Real-Time Social Media. She can be reached via email firstname.lastname@example.org