August 4, 2012

Social Media and Entertainment Industry – A lethal combination!

What is the relation between entertainment and social media industry? The answer to it is no brainer! Long before social media existed, whenever you went for a movie or to a restaurant, you always went back and told your friends and family about your experience. Be it good or bad, we always make sure to express our opinion because entertainment, food and sports have been wired in our social way of living. Sharing experiences, likes and dislikes about a movie or a song on a social platform is an extension of the need of people to be heard and to discuss their feelings.

 Movies, established stars and strugglers are trying to market themselves on social media because that’s where the entire buzz is being generated. I think it started when a 14-year-old Canadian posted his video on YouTube and today he is a teen pop icon, yes it is Justin Beiber. That incident opened the floodgates and now you can see the results on YouTube. Anybody who has a good voice, guitar or none of the above is trying to get their 15 seconds of fame.

 Most of the celebrities are there on twitter, talking about their personal life, movies, point of views and their pictures. Now it has come to a point that Lady Gaga, who has a great deal of followers on twitter, is starting her own social network, LittleMonsters.com. A noticeable point is that the real power lies in the platform that runs it, called Backplane. This could revolutionize the celebrity marketing industry. Gaga’s manager, Troy Carterc says the base of the idea comes from the fact that social media, at the moment, is splintered. Brands (celebrities are brands) have Twitter accounts, a Facebook page, YouTube, maybe a Pinterest account and a website. In addition, they might have posting boards and other special interest accounts. There will be a crossover of fans but you lose the power by dividing the load across all these platforms. There’s a line on the graphic at the top of the Backplane blog that spells it out: LittleMonsters connected to each other and not just her.

 When it comes to movie marketing and social media, there can be no bigger example than the $11,000Paramount production, ‘Paranormal Activity’. The story states that it was first screened only in college towns at midnight shows. The initial viewers were petrified and actually enjoyed the whole experience, so much that they began tweeting about it (see image below). Next thing you know, the clever marketing folks at Paramount got thinking.

They launched ParanormalMovie.com, a micro site that promoted the movie and asked moviegoers to do the same. ParanormalMovie.com claims that it received more than 1 million demands from moviegoers to screen the movie in more theaters, which is why “Paranormal Activity” is, according to the site, “the first-ever movie release demanded by you.” In any case, CNN reported that the online buzz created such excitement that “Paranormal Activity” terrified $7.1 million out of the teen/twenty-some things pockets last weekend, while only gracing some 200 theaters. Their strategy of tweet your scream worked very well as a lot of followers shared their frightening experience.

 During the present times, social media in itself has become a new form of entertainment.

Audience today have become partners, promoters and in some cases,  even investors,  take for example Onir’s national award winning movie, ‘ I am’, where 400 investors invested after reading Onir’s status on Facebook and Twitter. The amount pooled in for the movie was 3 crores. So here’s to the medium, and all the marketers, who strive to be ahead of everybody else and aspire to present us with something fresh and enthralling,  each and every time.

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