Six Second Stars

Imagine creating your own movie, picking the storyline, the actors and the scenes that you want. This dream of becoming the next Steven Spielberg might not be too far away if social media applications continue evolving at the rate they are right now!

It all started with Youtube; upload a video of anything and the world can view it. Well we have moved on a little since then, and you can now use Instagram, Vine and other video apps to help you create whatever you want! “Should I use the front or back camera? Which filter should I use? Which angle looks best?” These are all questions we ask ourselves now that we have the ability to shoot and edit short videos. The mobile phone being the main way we record these events. Some do it for fun, some do it to gain followers and to entertain, but now people are doing it to get awards. Thats right, it may not be an academy award, but you can still make a mark on the film industry by creating a short video… and you don’t need to spend a dollar!
As part of the 13th Annual Tribeca Film Festival, aspiring super short filmmakers from around the world can submit their Vine creations to the newly opened 2014 #6secfilms Competition. By tagging your submissions with #6secfilms and the relevant category: #drama #comedy #animated and #genre it submits your video to be considered. It is crazy to think that from the comfort of your own home you can now record and upload a video or short movie and then enter it for an award. Maybe Hollywood isn’t too far away after all! Check out some of the best Vines from last year here!

In its first four months, Vine gained 13 million users, an amazing stat for such a new app! Part of the appeal of Vine lies in its simplicity, particularly the interface of the tool, which lets people shoot and edit clips by tapping the screen and quickly uploading them to the app and to the Web. It’s a lot more creative than other pieces of social media and gives you a lot more options on what to create.

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It has been said that in the future it may help micro-blogging or sending business messages. The opportunities for Vine are endless, and it will continue growing and adapting just like social media has over time. It will always capture video, that’s for sure. So why not try it out? Go create the next great vine and become a six second star!

Meet the little minions that are creating a big buzz!

One of Universal’s all time profitable films is Despicable Me 2. Last summer was marked by big-budget flops such as Walt Disney’s $225 million, The Lone Ranger, and Sony’s $150 million, White House Down. But Despicable Me 2 cost only $76 million which eventually turned into over $850 million worth of ticket sales! It was the highest grossing animated film of 2013, but could these little yellow minions have been so popular without the help of social media?

The movie had over 8.5 million fans on Facebook, 5 million more than Cars 2 and Kung Foo Panda 2. It also had over 100 percent more tweets than these movies, with the majority of people saying that they wanted to go see it. The buzz created from its online presence has not only helped it go ahead of competitors but it has also helped to create a model of how to promote an animated movie. Universal has used different tactics to help get the fans connected with the movie and its minion characters. One thing they did was to hide minions all over the Internet and then get fans to look for them, with the aim to find them all. Another thing they did was that their marketing team tapped into fans via their mobile. Spanning five European countries are mobile-controlled, digital ads with personalized skits from the Minions themselves. Fans are then encouraged to share their personalized video clips across their own social profiles, essentially promoting the movie for them and having fun at the same time! Check out this video, which explains the concept!

When it comes to animated films, you have to make the most of the characters, and get the fans introduced and affiliated with them months before the release of the film. This way they will be more likely to get involved with promotion ideas, games, blogs and many other online features nearer to the release of the film. Animated characters help fans create a connection that marketers love. Younger children are often targeted because once they make a connection, they don’t tend to let go of it. A good example is that their audience may get dressed up as a minion for Halloween, essentially they are a walking advertisement for the film. Obviously as the expansion and knowledge of the film and minions increases this will lead to more sales of toys and items with the character on them, making more revenue for film company. This all starts from interactive promotion, as seen above. If they share that video, many of their friends will see it and want to get involved as well, creating a chain reaction. One key thing is that it’s done on a mobile phone, with many of their fans carrying this on them 24/7.

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Going back to the question, I really don’t think that they could have achieved this amount of buzz and popularity without social media. Films like Cars and Kung Foo Panda started out with more fans and presence but after a great marketing plan and the introduction of social media the Despicable Me franchise has grown and definitely found a way to connect to fans just like Toy Story did when it was first introduced to the public. Social media has been introduced since then though and Universal are using it to their advantage and will continue to do so until everyone has a place in their heart for a minion!

If you love crowd surfing you’d love crowdsourcing!

When promoting and marketing a movie, companies and businesses need to know their audience, and need to create a connection with them that will last. There is a new, fun way to engage audiences and keep them interested and involved with a marketing campaign: Crowdsourcing!

Crowdsourcing gives the audience a voice and makes them feel like they’re being heard. It also leads to buzz, and people are more likely to talk about it and tell their friends. A world of people and organizations is available to assist you, if you have the commitment and care to engage them properly. Its no longer okay to just market at your audience; you now need to get them involved and encourage them to create and share it with friends, essentially marketing the movie for a company. Crowdsourcing is a new and very powerful tool when it comes to marketing in the film industry and is something that should be used in the right manner. In essence, crowdsourcing can be compared to crowd surfing as the creative ideas from the company gets passed around the audience, connecting people and carrying it around before its taken back to the company which is similar to a rock star being passed around the crowd before returning to the stage.

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The old saying of “if you build it, they will come” has changed to show the shifts in the film industry, and will make more sense now to say, “if they want it, they will help you build it.” It’s a collaborative effort between a business, its product, their fans and audience. Everyone works together! Some smaller companies with less of a budget to market a movie may see this as a tool to help build up more reputation and fans. After all, it is a lot less expensive to do crowdsourcing than it is to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on a marketing plan.
Here are four great examples of Crowdsourcing used well:

The North European construction company, Lemminkäinen organized an idea competition to celebrate their 100th anniversary, and awarded prizes worth €50,000 for new living concepts.

Cisco has run an i-Prize competition where prizes worth $250,000 were awarded to ideas that could lead to major new business for them. This can then lead to millions
of dollars for Cisco, so the money they are giving away is more of an investment that will hopefully see a return.

Sam Adams worked with South by Southwest Festival and decided to use social media to create a “collaborative ale” in which fans could use the new Facebook app to choose the yeast, hops, malt, body, clarity and color of the ale. It was available in select bars at SxSW. By having fans provide input on or help create a new product or service. People are more likely to interact and have a greater interest in the end result.

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A final example is when Lexus decided to promote their new 2014 IS F SPORT vehicle, they invited 212 Instagrammers and fans to come take pictures for a new short stop motion-film. They posted them to Instagram with the hashtag #LEXUSINSTAFILM and the results were great! This is definitely thinking outside the box. Check out the behind the scenes video here!

These are all great examples and can daily be transferred into promotion for a movie. Crowdsourcing works, and it’s no wonder so many companies and movie makers are adopting this strategy and using it to the best of their ability. So next time you look at a movie company or business idea, think…have they used crowdsourcing? Is their audience connected to what’s going on? Maybe you can try this, anyone with a smartphone can make a video and capture just as many views as a blockbuster film, with its trailers and ads combined. And with little to no budget. So with the help of crowdsourcing, that movie you created for a college project could be turned into something a littler bigger!

From YouTube to Hollywood!

YouTube gives the general public somewhere to stage his or her talents You can upload a video and send it out for anyone in the world to view. From the comfort of your own room, you can now become Internet famous and have hundreds of thousands of people view and subscribe to your videos no matter who you are. As social media becomes bigger, so do the opportunities for people using it to their advantage.

A great example of this is Lucas Cruikshank, who created the character ‘Fred Figglehorn,’  a fast-talking, hyperactive 6-year-old, which helped him climb to YouTube fame with over 580 million views on his videos.  After getting noticed Lucas starred on Nickelodeon and went onto create Fred:The Movie. From his home in Nebraska, he went on to star in and create his own movie, all thanks to social media and YouTube. The story has been told many times with many people following their dreams thanks to Youtube. The most known one being Justin Bieber.

Fred-The-MovieNow there’s a new movie being released full of YouTube stars ready to make their bow in Hollywood. The movie’s name is ‘The Chronicles of Rick Roll’ and could be released next year. The actors/actresses have hundreds of millions of views on Youtube. The producers thinks that these online fans can come together to create a mega fan base for this movie and help make it a hit! This would once again show how YouTube is the perfect platform for aspiring music artists and actors/actresses, because it is such a hard industry to break into. Are you a fan of any YouTube stars? If so what makes their videos so appealing to you?

youtube-logoIn a recent Oscar special, Jimmy Kimmel took popular YouTube videos and turned them into spoof movies staring Hollywood actors. This shows exactly how powerful YouTube is becoming and that popular videos and online stars could soon be heading to Hollywood for real. We have already seen the first moves towards this idea, so don’t be surprised if you see them pop up the next time you go see a movie! Check out the videos from JKL on their Youtube page here!

Anchorman 2 doing something new!

Anchorman 2 is changing the game. They have thought up something a little different to help advertise and get their movie in the public eye, and it seems to have paid off. Here’s why people are talking about their new movie marketing and how social media ties in to this great idea!

Anchorman 2 was not happy to do the ‘norm’ when it came to marketing their movie. Promoting it on chat shows and creating a Facebook page wasn’t good enough to please their marketing team. Although they did do all of these things, they included many others as well. They used character profiles on twitter to help get the audience to know the characters and keep up with them leading up to the movie. They created on air in-character appearances, with Will Ferrell dressing up as Ron Burgundy for Dodge commercials. This lead to a 40% increase in Dodge products. He also appeared on local news stations and even the Australian elections. It gave the audience the feel that these characters were actually real and by the time they saw movie they had a connection with everyone in it. This idea would not have worked if they had gotten the characters to go out with one objective: to simply get the audience in to watch the movie without relating to them. Instead, the Anchorman 2 team created entertaining content based around the character, designed to both make us laugh and indirectly remind us that there is, in fact a movie coming out. Check it out here!

Another great way in which they advertised this movie perfectly, is that they gave a lot of information, such as easter eggs and extra footage to the audience leading up to the movie. Usually this isn’t given to you unless you go and buy the DVD, so by giving this away free it gives the audience a great incentive to go see the movie! Everyone loves free media! As well as this, the main actors created 50 short videos to send around social media to try get the buzz going for the movie and get them shared all around the world. Once these videos had been seen, the audience may find them funny and decide to send them to friends creating a great chain reaction. The hope is that they go viral with everyone recognizing the videos. What do you think of the way in which they marketed this movie? Did you see any of their advertising and did it attract you towards seeing the movie?

When the original Anchorman movie was released in 2004 social media was just beginning, Facebook had just been invented whilst Twitter and YouTube were yet to be created. So the marketers didn’t have a set way to do things for this movie. Their videos and new ideas did work though. They turned into around 3 million Facebook likes, 45 million Youtube views and even had many people creating videos and animations for the movie which in turn had the audience doing a lot of advertising for them!

Overall, it had a lot to compete with, being released right around Christmas, but thanks to the different way in which paramount approached this, it came out on top. It has made movie marketers around the world reevaluate how they use social media and market their movies to connect to the audience. I don’t know how to put this, but marketing your movie right is kind of a big deal.

You stay classy San Diego.

Everyone’s a winner on Oscars night!

Samsung spent around $20 million on their campaign during the Oscars and got more than what they bargained for.

Their 5-minute commercial time gave them a 6.2 percent rise in views; their true reach prior to the Oscars was 28.8 million. After the show, that rose to 30.6 million. As if this was not good enough, the host Ellen Degeneres  posted a ‘selfie’ incorporating as many celebrities as possible into it. The post on twitter broke the retweets record and although it didn’t mention Samsung within the tweet, the phone and logo were shown during the taking of the photo. As a result, conversation around Samsung instantly multiplied 27 times over, with Samsung mentions topping 900 per minute during the staging of the shot; a very good social media strategy in order to get the word out. It resulted in many people tuning into the show and watching simply because they had seen this retweet and wondered what was going on. Were you one of the people to ‘re-tweet’ it? Did it make you or your followers turn on the Oscars? This is the power of social media working to help influence what people do.

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Samsung was not the only winner of the night; the show itself had a huge increase in viewers. In 2013 and 2014 views can be shows to be over the 10 millions mark whereas in 2012 viewers sat at only 5 million. Last year it came in third on mentions for shows, behind The Grammys and The Super Bowl. Now in 2014 it continues to be a popular program and the use of social media helps it to achieve this. Others included Pepsi and Google, which also experienced a rise thanks to their commercials during the award ceremony. Netflix did the same and they didn’t even have to create and buy a commercial, people were tweeting and commenting on where they could see these movies, which gave Netflix a huge boost in mentions. This shows the power of Netflix and the fact that people think about their company first when it comes to online movies is so important to any brand and it is what they strive to achieve.

Overall it was a great night for many companies involved in the Oscars, Samsung being the main one. It shows just how much social media has grown. Now those photos are taken during the live program and uploaded so that the audience can ‘re-tweet’ and join in with the action. It makes the audience feel a part of the show even though they aren’t there. The question now is, how do they top this? How would you like to be connected to next year’s Oscars whilst watching it on TV?

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Disney and social media, a perfect match?

Disney. With over 200 million likes on its various Facebook pages, it is one of the strongest and most recognizable brands in the world. Their movies and TV shows are shown in many countries around the world, airing to hundreds of millions.

Disney positions itself as the new tentpole power house

They have a huge presence on social media, with their approach towards it being informational, rather than super commercial. They give fans the latest and best information on new movies and upcoming events. This is pretty clear if you have ever seen social media from Disney. The content that is shared on the Disney Living FacebookTwitter and YouTube pages all attempt to connect with its audience. It’s not always product-driven — many of the communications are casual and created to interact with fans. Here is an example, which shows a behind the scenes look at ‘Cars’

One way in which Disney adapted social media was to make their own website ‘Disney Family’. They realized that parents were willing to share their lives and embrace a sense of community online. The website is aimed at mothers and was created to give users the chance to make connections with other parents who are dealing with similar experiences. Asking questions and getting answers is a big part of social media. Although Disney is on all social media sites, it’s a great way to separate from those and create their own form of interactions. This was created in 2008 but continues to be a great source of media for their target audience; check it out at Disney Family!

The chairman of Disney’s consumer products is Andy Mooney, who states, “Social media is fundamental to the nature of how we communicate with the fans” and that “The tone and the content is more causal and insight-based and insider-based, especially for the most ardent fans of the franchises.” He knows what he is talking about. Disney has used the invention of social media as a way in which interaction and communication online can sell their products in ways not seen before this invention. In the past you would see a commercial on TV, but now you can gain instant access on YouTube to find out new information and have a more personal advertisement.  A good way in which Disney has done this is by using Videos of John Lasseter, the chief creative officer within the company, to introduce new toys and show you how they work. Take a look!

What do you think about this approach? It definitely feels more like he is talking to you rather than a TV commercial would. Out of all social media YouTube feels like the best way for Disney to get information across to their audience. Being a Movie and TV company the visual aspect is perfect for everyone involved.

Disney will continue to build on their amazing reputation as one of the world’s biggest companies, the use of social media will certainly be a huge help! Interacting and communicating with fans is something you would definitely relate to the Disney ‘brand’. So as Disney and social media both continue to grow there is only one way in which their partnership can go… to infinity and beyond! 11 - Toy Story