Creative Best Practices

How to Successfully Market a Television or Film Project.

Posted by Kent Speakman on August 11th, 2009 at 12:00 am

This is a visual representation of the high level elements that make up a successful program to promote a film or television show.Entertainment

At the Core is the actual movie or product. The key features that we can identify with at this level (what makes a good movie) are the story, the cast, the brand, the genre, characters, and the trailer. Some may argue that the trailer should be outside of the core, but as it should be the closest element that encapsulates all of the core elements of the movie I have included it here.

Moving away from the movie itself, we can begin to look at the key influencers that have the potential to positively affect the success of the project. Current market trends, real life events, news and history itself can be tapped into and used to assist in the marketing efforts for the project. Doing this right can be hard, but when done properly it can take marketing dollars further – like jumping on a surfboard that's already on the wave. Other areas that can be tapped into include celebrities, fans, bloggers, and critics. The influencers that have a relationship with any or all of the elements in the core will ultimately aid in the success and/or failure of the project. It can pay dividends to leverage this properly.

Once we get into the outside ring, the one where the viral and marketing efforts are realized, we begin to connect with the masses. This ring begins with the definition of the strategic objectives and goals for the initiative. Once the strategy is defined a series of programs are identified and evaluated for their potential contribution to the overall strategic objectives. Each program needs to be developed individually, with its own objectives and goals, and contribute to an identified function as it moves the target audience through the conversion funnel. The conversion funnel functions include awareness, direct response and engagement & conversion. The metrics for success on Facebook or at and event should be independent of those on Twitter, and those of the website for the movie. At the same time they should all be interconnected, contribute to each programs success and tie back to the overall strategic objectives. The ongoing evolution of online marketing opportunities is contributing to an exponential increase in the speed and reach for all communications. By monitoring the Core and Influencer rings through the life of
the campaign we can leverage emerging opportunities by jumping on the surfboard and injecting relevant information into our selected programs. For example, if a cast member hits the news with relevant involvement in trends, this can be leveraged to promote the film. A story on a site like the Huffington Post (www.huffingtonpost.com) allows readers to spread the information easily to their contacts using social networks such as Digg (www.digg.com), Facebook (www.facebook.com) and Twitter (www.twitter.com) This same opportunity can be leveraged in online marketing opportunities using Search Engine Marketing and Online Display Advertisements. This information is also spread via syndication through blogs, Wikipedia (www.wikipedia.com), and other news sites. Multiply this by the many opportunities that arise during the life of the campaign. The campaign can be rewarded with a wave of viral communication as the target audience interacts and contributes to the growth and spread of information. These activates do not replace the requirement for an overall awareness campaign, however it increases the speed and reach of the awareness campaign and most important the level at which we are able to immerse andengage the target audience in the experience.

Collaboration between the filmmakers, marketing team and the agency or agencies that are involved in these initiatives are imperative to achieving maximum results from the program. The theme and consistency needs to cross over all elements and although good results can sometimes come from teams working in silos, the great results are achieved when everyone is on the same page.

Leave a comment