The way you market your film or TV show is arguably just as important as the creation of the film itself — that’s what gets the audience and viewers to the box office or to your online streaming service. Sometimes the budget for the promotion of the show or film will be as high as half of what it cost to produce. To make sure you’re doing all you can to promote it in the year, months, and weeks leading up to your release date, we’ve listed the six best ways to market your upcoming TV show/ movie.
Of course, when you create your TV show or film, you’re intrinsically hoping that its quality should be able to speak for itself, but there have been times throughout history when brilliant films have failed because no one knew they existed. That's when a buzz-worthy PR stunt can make all the difference. Take notes, these movies nailed their PR stunts…
“Office Space” is a movie about three software engineers who loathe their mundane office job and decide to join forces and rebel against their boss. Before it premiered, they decided to lock a man inside a glass cube above NYC’s Times Square for a week while he was forced to sit at a desk, answer phone calls and finish reports, all as if he were at an office.
“Bruno,” a Sacha Baron Cohen movie about a gay Austrian fashion journalist, used the 2009 MTV movie awards to promote the upcoming film. Sacha Baron Cohen, dressed as Bruno, flew onto the award stage suspended by a harness, landed on top of Eminem, and created a humiliating but memorable scene.
Unforgettable User Experiences
The “Hunger Games” created one of the most innovative marketing initiatives when they came out with the 'Virtual Hunger Games.' Users could join a District and experience what the characters in the film did all the while interacting with other “Hunger Games” fans. This game was integrated with social, and you had the option to invite friends and post updates, and further spread the news about the new film.
PRO TIP: If you are going to create a gaming experience, NOW Affinio can identify the clusters in your Movie or TV Show’s audience that would have a high affinity for gaming so you can target them first and foremost.
Many films and TV shows rely on press junkets as a major source of exposure. A press junket is the practice of hosting a one-to- two-day event where journalists, entertainment reporters, and film reviewers can do back-to-back interviews with the actors from the film.
When creating your list of invitees, consider thinking beyond journalists — instead ideate an expanded list that includes influential bloggers and fans, too!
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To promote its fourth season, “Stranger Things” joined Dominos to create a campaign where customers could “order pizza with their mind,” using the same powers as the show’s main character, Eleven. This partnership worked well because in the fourth season there was a theme around pizza. Customers download the “Dominos Mind Ordering” App and used “telekinesis” to order a pizza, which gets delivered in a limited edition ‘80s retro pizza box.
A pre-roll ad is a video commercial that plays right before a featured video and is 15-60 seconds long. They can be a powerful tool in generating attention for your Trailer especially when you place them before similar content on YouTube. There should be a CTA for your viewer that can take them right to the website for your movie or show. Something else to note is that if the viewer skips it in the first five seconds then you don’t pay for that view.
An Exceptional Site
Most film and TV landing pages typically include a countdown to the release date and the trailer. Go beyond this and take your visitors on a journey that leaves them wanting more.
“Jurassic Park” created a site that allowed users to explore the fictional “Dinosaur theme park,” as if it were real, listing all the attractions, T-Rex feeding times, and all the dinosaurs living within the park. The more you viewed the site, the more sections of the park you were able to explore - this drummed up more than 300,000 peak site visits before the film's release.
Audience’s should be able to come to your site, watch the trailer, have the option to share it on social, play virtual games, and enter contests — everything should be in place to keep them engaged.
When it comes to marketing your TV series or movie, be inventive and creative — whether it's a clever brand partnership, or a jaw-dropping pre-roll ad, leave your audience wanting more and make them want to mark their calendars for your release date.
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