From Oscar to Online: Four Film Biz Lessons for Digital Marketers

Written on
Mar 3, 2014 
Nick Dujnic  |

ADOTAS – In the wake of the Oscars, we thought it was a good time to look at some lessons the movie industry and its star-struck awards show can teach those in digital marketing:

Lesson #1: Don’t Fear Untested Channels and Technology

In the 1970s, Video Cassette Recorders (VCRs) were introduced and quickly declared “the end of the movie business” by the studios and their lobbying arm the MPAA.

In reality? With a new channel of distribution, home movie rentals surpassed movie theater tickets and studio revenues exploded.

Both publishers and advertisers need to embrace the possibilities, not fear worst-case scenarios, of technological innovations that open up new channels for distribution, like Programmatic Buying and Custom Audience Targeting.

Lesson #2: Find Your Jennifer Lawrence… of Digital Channels.

The red carpet has always been a great way for designers to reach an audience that expands beyond the fashion set. The celebrity procession and awards show itself provide a captive audience who are spending their precious time looking at couture creations.

For instance, Dior got 75 seconds of free camera time when Jennifer Lawrence accidentally tripped when attempting to make her 2013 Oscar acceptance speech. Since Academy Awards ads cost close to $2 million for a 30-second spot, that’s upwards of $4 million in marketing value.

Now, while you might not be able to convince Jennifer Lawrence to wear a banner ad on-stage at the Oscars, you do need to find a digital channel that will place your ad next to content your customers trust and spend a lot of time watching.

Lesson #3: Build Success Through Multiple Channels

The Lord of The Rings, Harry Potter, The Avengers, Batman, Spider-man, and The Lego Movie – all of these blockbusters have been successful in multiple channels. They’re not just movies, they’re books, video games, television series, and even Broadway shows.

For digital marketers, the lesson is clear: you need to be everywhere your audience is, in every form of media that they consume. That means Web Display, Social, Search, Video, and Email.

Lesson #4: There is Money in Re-Franchising

There is always a new way to look at an old standard. Hollywood is constantly going to the vault to find something once thought to be passé and turning it into the next big thing.

Sometimes, like in the case of our scaly, sushi-hating friend Godzilla, it is simply that the technology didn’t exist at the time of inception for the film to fully realize its potential.

Similarly, innovations in marketing automation are breathing new life into marketing channels once left for dead. Like email. Once thought to be too difficult to monetize, technology now makes it possible to serve real-time ads in email and target across devices via the hash of an email address. This has led to a re-franchising of email — one of digital marketing’s oldest stalwarts. Proving that what’s old is new again — with the right technology.

So, digital marketers, let’s pay attention to the industry that came before. Embrace innovation, find star content, diversify your channels, and franchise the classics. Follow these lessons and brand love (maybe even golden trophies) will come.

Nick Dujnic is Multimedia Marketing Manager at LiveIntent, Inc. He manages the planning, development and execution of top-of-the-funnel content to drive form completes, web traffic, lead generation and engagement, utilizing a combination of social networking platforms to contribute to the overall editorial strategy.

Nick performs in a producer/editorial role for content in order to ensure it contains a consistent voice for the desired audience. This content includes newsletters, blog posts, eBooks, white papers, infographics, videos, webinars, and industry event presentations.

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