What is Film Marketing?
Films play an influential role in people’s life. A movie can lift anyone’s mood and can drive anyone into a different thinking zone. Films are imagination brought into reality on screen. It involves a lot of activities like direction, screenplay, shooting, etc. But one activity that makes it reachable to the audience is Film Marketing. It is the promotional and marketing activity to spread awareness about the film and to attract the public. If a film is not able to attract enough audience, then it can be a flop, which is the biggest fear and loss of any filmmaker.
Film marketing is a different concept that is not known to many. Just like any product or service of any brand needs advertisement, promotion, and sales, films also need them. Films are part of show business, and every business has some objective. To attain those objectives films are marketed.
Strategies used in Film Marketing
Viral Film Marketing
Viral Marketing is a strategy that creates conversation among people on any subject. In Viral Film Marketing, the topic of discussion or buzz relates to the movie. The information spreads like wildfire and reaches person to person. It affects the film’s success by spreading the message widely. The topic or buzz should be compelling and also worth spreading. It is an approach that can increase sales rapidly. Many film marketers adopt such a strategy to draw the attention of their audience.
One such campaign that went viral was the Toy Story 3 Promotional Campaign. The audience for the movie were kids, but the makers promoted it by considering the grownups too. The makers promoted the movie with the 1980s inspired commercials and characters. The idea behind it was that the kids in the 1980s became adults by the release of Toy Story 3, so it was to pitch those adult audiences who watched the movie as kids.
Publicity Stunts are events that the film marketers plan to gain public attention. Public relations (PR) stunts is another name of this strategy. These PR stunts get media coverage and affect film success. Many times the marketers organize such stunts to get the media’s attention, and it does the rest of the job of marketers. It is just an attention-seeking act. The thing that gets attention out of such PR stunts is the film. It is a quite popular strategy that most of the makers adopt for their film’s marketing.
Example- Carrie 2013 is a remake of the classic horror movie of the same title. In a New York coffee shop, the marketers set up a fake telekinetic event with a team of actors and effects specialists. In it, a girl points at a man with her palm and flies him up the wall. She also moves the furniture around as she screams. This act relates to the main character of the movie.
Many times we come across some rumours or news related to any movie and its making. Some of it might be true, but most of it is not. Audiences are smart enough to understand what’s for publicity and what is the truth. But sometimes, the filmmakers are too smart to make the audiences believe them. Rumours create curiosity and generate the interest of the audience in the films. Such stories can be any link-up between actors, fight onset, or cold war between actors that might interest media and public attention. For example, you hear that the lead actors in a movie got into a fight, then how can you resist yourself to know more about it?
Everyone needs to have a good laugh in their daily lives, and so there are social media memes that can make anyone smile. But it can also make the marketers happy by promoting their movies with Meme Marketing. Yes, Meme Marketing is a strategy that film marketers adopt to create awareness about their film. Memes are photos and videos with captions that have a humour element in it. You can identify many movies and series personas in popular memes. The marketers create memes by taking any dialogue, character, or scene from the film and present it comically.
Netflix is the streaming platform that promotes its movies on its social media pages with humorous memes. It creates its memes and shares it with the viewers to engage them on the streaming platform. Netflix’s original movie Bird Box was watched by 45 million accounts as it had an effective meme strategy.
After the increasing use of digital platforms, Video Marketing strategy is gaining much popularity. Every film releases its trailer or teaser on such platforms which, then gets popularity and views. The most popular platform for video marketing is YouTube. Every film first releases its theatrical trailer on YouTube. Another famous platform is the social media platform, Facebook. Also, according to a report by Forbes, over 500 million people watch videos on Facebook every day. Video Marketing is the most effective strategy for Film Marketing.
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For instance, Facebook got a new feature where users can post 360-degree videos. Star Wars is the first movie that posted a 360-degree video on its Facebook page.
Contests and Quizzes
The marketers organize many contests and quizzes to engage the audience. In such events, the marketers keep exciting prizes and gifts for the participants and winners. It is a win-win for the makers and the audience. There can be competitions to create a viral video for movies or create a look of similar film characters. The marketers also create quizzes where the participants who get the most right answers, wins the prize. Such events not only give audience an experience but also spread information and awareness of the film.
Controversies can occur when any scene, story, the title of the movie, or actors face disputes from the public. It is the result of conflicting opinions of makers and the audience or law. Such controversies are negative, but still, it can give the film immense popularity and media coverage.
The Bollywood movie Padmavat before its release faced a lot of heat and controversies. Shri Karni Rajput Sena protested over the fact that the film portrays the Rajput Queen Padmavati in a bad light. It faced a lot of criticism, and even the lead actress and director faced many threats. But despite the controversies, the film was a big hit over the box office with a 400 crore collection.
Partnering with any brand and endorsing it by celebrities is a way of promoting films. It fulfills the goals of both the brand and the filmmakers. During movie promotions are marketers create special advertisements where the movie actors promote the brand and also the film by asking audience to watch it by sharing release dates.
One example of such a partnership is Marvel’s Captain America with Baskin Robbins. The ice cream brand featured limited period products with the movie’s theme including, a Super-Soldier flavour and Captain America Ice-cream cakes.
Persona Marketing is a unique concept of Film Marketing. In this strategy, the marketers create a persona around any iconic character of any film. The fictional character gets a persona, and it engages with the audience on social media platforms. It also helps in the film’s marketing.
Importance of Film Marketing
Film Marketing is very crucial for the success of any film. It is the brand of any filmmaker that it promotes, so that it reaches out to most of the people. Furthermore, if more people watch a film then its sales increases. The purpose of any Film Marketing strategy is to increase viewership. The following are some goals that filmmakers want to achieve through the marketing of their film:
When a movie is going to release, it creates excitement among the audience. But if the film is not marketed well enough, then it can lead to a lack of interest and enthusiasm among the audience to watch it. So a powerful promotional and marketing strategy is essential for films.
The most obvious goal that a Film Marketing strategy has is to drive the audience towards theatres or the OTT platforms. The filmmaker’s efforts, all aim at this goal, then only it can accomplish other goals. The success of a movie lies in how many viewers watch the movie.
Make a Hit
If a film can cover its costs or do a well business at the box office, then it becomes a hit. Some makers also feel that doing average business is enough for their movie. But almost every filmmaker’s goal is to make their movie a hit at the box office. The commercial success of a movie is also very crucial.
Having a Fan base
This goal not only depends on the marketing of the film but also other aspects like screenplay, storyline, and actors. But if a movie with all these aspects cannot do well, then it can never have a fan base. It is crucial to make a marketing strategy to get it seen by audience and have a fan base among the target audience.
Role of Film Marketers
While discussing Film marketing, we cannot miss the role of marketers. The marketers create strategies and campaigns for the promotion of the film. Marketers have perfect knowledge of the film industry, and also they know what the audience wants to see. They also understand how to make the audience watch the film. They perform the following activities:
They plan out the Film Marketing campaigns. Also, they set a budget, choose platforms, and forecast the size and type to approach.
The marketer creates communication strategies, maintains public relations, and engages with the audience. The marketer creates stories that can entice the audience towards the film.
It is the most common role of any marketer. Here, the awareness relates to the film. The marketer studies the audience and does research on the latest trends, and devise a plan to create brand awareness.
The film marketer researches the market to make a creative and appealing campaign. The marketer knows the film industry and also understand the target viewers and how to reach them.
Film Marketing is not only crucial for the makers but the public too. If they will not market their movies, then how will the audience know that s movies with brilliant stories and screenplay exist. In life, a bit of entertainment is a must, and Film Marketing brings it right on our television and mobile screens.