The Breaking Dawn Part 1 release is today, November 18.
What subject really coaxes people into expressing their opinions? Sex? Politics? Sports? Sex?
Try the movies, says Ben Carlson: “More than any other aspect of life, people do share opinions about them.”
That especially holds true within social media marketing, adds Carlson, and he would know. He’s the president and co-founder of Fizziology, a two-year-old research company that uses proprietary technology to track what’s being talked about on Twitter, Facebook, blogs and search engines, and then employs social media analysts to turn that data into actionable information for entertainment industry clients. It’s that formula that allows Carlson and Fizziology to predict that “Twilight: Breaking Dawn, Part 1” will gross $140 million in its opening weekend
Here’s an even bolder prediction from Carlson: social media buzz can help Hollywood cut down on box office bombs – but only if studios are willing to listen.
“What we’ve done is said that people are volunteering this information en masse and in real time and in a more honest fashion in social media,” Carlson told Splash Media. “For us it’s just culling and curating all of those opinions and then turning that into meaningful insight to help movies do smarter marketing. Typically it’s not even related to digital – we’ll say, ‘here’s a line people are repeating from the trailers, you should probably use it in your commercials,’ or ‘here’s a breakout character.’
“A studio releases a trailer online and within hours there’s a wealth of information around it. It can allow them to ultimately make a better product – not just movie marketing but also the movie itself.”
That’s also how Carlson and Fizziology knew that the new Adam Sandler movie, “Jack and Jill,” would have a tough opening weekend – a rarity for Sandler. When the film’s trailer came out, “in the social space, from the very beginning, we saw that movie have some of the highest negatives of any movie we’ve seen.”
Carlson says thanks to a “Breaking Dawn” demographic that’s pre-sold on the franchise and familar with digital technologies, distributor Summit Entertainment didn’t have to do a lot of social media marketing enticement, like Paramount does with its “Paranormal Activity” franchise. “‘Twilight’ came out of the gates with that conversation going in similar ways to the Harry Potter series, where Warner Bros. didn’t have to do a lot of digital work to goose conversations. It just organically sprouted”
The “Twilight” audience does use social media in one unique way over other event-film audiences, Carlson said, in that it prefers social media for pre-planning their ticket-buying and moviegoing activities. Many members of Team Edward and Team Jacob were on Twitter a month ahead of the release to announce they had purchased tickets for midnight shows and prime opening weekend evening screenings.
Carlson says social media marketing can’t do the job alone to generate interest in films. The social conversation is too large. “The best way to change or increase the conversation is to have a great trailer,” he says. “It’s not that you do something on Twitter or Facebook that has a material impact on social conversation. It’s what you do with the normal force of marketing.”
What do you think? Do you share movie opinions on your social media networks? Do you think social media is impacting how movies are marketed and made? Please share in our Comments section, and also check out the advice and best practices from the week in social media marketing news:
* Accentuate The Positive In Handling Negative Comments
Smart Blog on Social Media’s Andy Sernovitz presents the best tactics for when a company’s word of mouth goes south.
* Please Pass The Blog Posts: Getting Audiences Into The Spirit of Sharing
Amy Porterfield writes in Social Media Examiner about the best ways to create juicy, relevant, shareable content.
* Harvesting Help For The Hungry With Social Media
Frank Reed of the Marketing Pilgrim blog details a unique social media-centric campaign from farm equipment giant John Deere.
That’s it for this week. Have a great weekend and we’ll see you back here on Monday!