During the last few years Social Media has developed in such a way that we see it everywhere no matter what. Any type of business requires to have some form of social media impact in today’s society in order to be successful. In the film industry, the marketing and promotional strategies have been changing ever since this new channel of targeting audiences became involved with the development of promotional campaigns for several films. No matter how big or small your film may be, it has became almost a rule of thumb to always assure some way of social media presence in order to assure a percentage of success with the project. Short films, independent films and blockbusters have several ways of promoting their projects and the best part of all of this is that there aren’t really any standards on how to do it, besides being smart and creative about it. Big monster films have learned that developing their concepts in the right way and combining them with extreme precision can help to secure a big revenue from the box office. In this blog we will present certain statistics and facts that show other relevant blockbusters with creatures or monsters on them and how successful they were thanks to the involvement and creative use of social media.
KING KONG (2005)
The marketing strategies for films that were shot between ten or five years ago has nothing to do with the most recent ones. The reason is pretty simple, social media wasn’t as big as it is today. Several blockbusters from the early 2000’s had to utilize what we could sarcastically call the “old school” ways of distributing and promoting films. Actors, directors and Producers would be part of an entire show which would basically consist of doing hundreds of interviews, traveling around the world, signing posters and cards at several events, attending promotional events where the trailers would be premiered or even releasing behind the scenes photos or videos every once in a while. Most of the success was also based on the amount of fans and people that would follow up the stars of the film through out newspaper articles, magazines, or tv shows where they were being interviewed. Nine years ago, Peter Jackson had a huge task to remake the original King Kong (1933). In 2005 he set out to release the highly anticipated film, which received over 50 million in the opening week. Could it be because of Peter Jacksons’ huge fan base, or the people who just love and follow the King Kong franchise? Universal had a tough task marketing the film because social media wasn’t as big at the time. But they thought of a plan and it paid off pretty well by strategy and good thinking. King Kong released a triple patty burger at Burger King with a chocolate banana milkshake for a limited time. They gave away free T-shirts in every Kellogg’s box of cereal. Whenever there was a TV ad for Toshiba they played the trailer on the screens. Also ever since the 1933 film release King Kong has had a deal for commercials and endorsements with Coca-Cola. Whatever Universal did was a great idea because the film grossed over 500 million in the box office and counting up to this day.
PACIFIC RIM (2013)
With over a $200 million dollar budget, Pacific Rim proved to be a box office hit. One of the many key reasons for this film’s massive success in the box office, was thanks to it’s marketing campaign on social media. With over one million fans on Facebook and with over 32,000 followers on Twitter had one of the largest social media presence at the time of it’s release. One of the many reasons why Pacific Rim got such a huge fan response, was because of their constant updates on the film’s progress through out the various social media sites. From photo’s taken from the set to interviews with Director Guillermo del Toro. The Pacific Rim marketing team also re-tweeted and shared fans comments and other reviews on their social media sites. At the end of the day, Director Guillermo del Toro saw this film as a success, and most importantly so did Warner Brothers. Although some people believe the film could of done better if the film was marketed earlier on.
The newest and most anticipated monster film of 2014 was without a doubt a pure proof of success in a lot of fields. If there is a good reason why the new Godzilla film did amazingly well it was thanks to not just the filmmakers that took care of shooting the entire film and creating an entertaining story, but also to the marketing team working behind the entire project. From beginning to end, the marketing strategies involved in this production were always simple and very effective. All the way from having a Facebook page where a lot of news about the film would be posted, to the creation of a viral website called godzillaencounter.com.
In fact two more movies about the giant monster are already in the works since the box office proved how successful the film was, and the potential of a more modern and adequate approach to such a world wide known character. In the site, pictures and other promotional videos were posted with the intention of creating expectations but not only that, each “Article” that was published on the site was just one piece of a bigger puzzle that the team designed. Several links and other stories posted on the site continuously mentioned “San Diego”, “Encounter”, “MUTO” and other key words on their headlines in order to have the fans solve a riddle that would eventually give clues of what the film could be about.
With a total of almost $507 million worldwide at the box office, the 2014 version of the most famous giant monster in history has once again proved that blockbusters can still represent a huge pipe of economical revenue for the big Hollywood Studios. It’s been known that Legendary and Warner Brothers agreed that this film would represent their last collaboration together as companies. But after realizing the fantastic reception that the movie had, would they think about it twice?
DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES
Studios are now using social media to market their films and track the awareness of the film. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes used Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, Google+ to track the awareness and effectiveness of their social media marketing campaign. This allows studios to predict how well a film will do on opening week before its actual release.
Twitter was used to amplify positive reviews. Reviews about the film were tweeted and re-tweeted. Their question and answers added thousands of tweets to the weekly total. On Youtube, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes had over 55 million views, generating a .33% Buzz.
Movies with a larger amount of tweets seem to have done better than movies with not as many. Movies that opened up with over $90 million this year (X-Men:Days of Future Past, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Godzilla and Transformers: Age of Extinction) had over 700,000 tweets combined, vs movies like How to Train Your Dragon 2 and Maleficent’s that totaled up at 115,000 and 257,000 tweets only raising $50 million and $67 million.