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View Full Version : Promotion and advertisement of films -- how much do they affect the sucess of a film?



Exir
06-28-2009, 01:12 PM
How big a part does promotion play in determining if a film is successful or not? I mean, films that are promoted are more likely to be viewed by the viewing public. Not only that, but it would also cause more voters at major film awards such as the Oscars or Golden Globes to view it, creating more votes at such awards. Usually, that leads to more nominations and awards, leading to more viewership and even more nominations and awards, etc etc etc...

I don't know if I'm talking to myself here. I guess my question is: how often does a film that receives little to no promotion become successful all by itself?

Enzo
06-28-2009, 06:52 PM
The big blockbusters have promotion budgets that are probably enough to make separate movies. Millions of people will immediately be ready to go and see it just because there were ads everywhere on TV, in the subway etc. Though those are not the movies that will win awards.

Once in a while, something small will break through because word of mouth was so positive. I guess Napoleon Dynamite and Juno were films like that, though I don't know anything about what the promotion was like.

katiemac
06-28-2009, 09:50 PM
I don't know if I'm talking to myself here. I guess my question is: how often does a film that receives little to no promotion become successful all by itself?

The key here is that a film will never become successful "all by itself." Never. You can't put a film out there and expect people will go see it, or even know it exists, without doing a lot of work behind the scenes. A film might not have a major marketing budget for advertisements and commercials like the summer blockbusters do, but they will always be pushing publicity and promotions. When done correctly, it can sell a movie big time, even if you're not seeing ad spots on TV.

Both publicity and promotions can be relatively inexpensive whereas marketing is what inflates big budgets. Most of promotions, in fact, is free.

maestrowork
06-28-2009, 10:14 PM
The right promotion definitely could help, and the wrong promotion could hurt. I think the promotions and marketing of Land of the Lost, for example, hurt the film. But that of The Hangover made us want to see the film -- and it was a success. Without the marketing and promotion, few people would have heard of the films. That's why marketing budget for these films are huge -- about 10 to 15% of the production budget.

katiemac
06-28-2009, 11:25 PM
Don't forget that advertisements (marketing) and promotion are very different things. Promotion is becoming more and more important to any film's success, especially with the advent of social media. And because promotion is a heck of a lot cheaper than marketing, smaller films are getting that edge.

maestrowork
06-28-2009, 11:35 PM
Promotion still is expensive unless you get free press, etc. Personally I consider the whole thing (instead of just advertising) as part of marketing, such as having Will Ferrell appear on Saturday Night Live or the Tonight Show. Publicists got paid for them, and it came from the marketing budget.

dgiharris
06-28-2009, 11:35 PM
Marketing is the least understood, most difficult to quantify, yet most essential part of any business.

Given the Hollywood business model of realizing 50% of the revenue within the first 2 wks of the opening, Marketing is the principle factor for the success or failure of a movie.

In fact, for opening weekend, i would say that Marketing is MORE important than the movie and writing. Hence the importance of 'The Trailer'

Or put another way. How many of us have went to see a move that sucks? Why were we duped? Well, because based on the trailers we thought the movie would be good.

Now, in order to realize the other 50% (or more) of the profits of the film, that is all word of mouth. And word of mouth is the ONLY way you will get the mega huge $100M+ successes. And the only way you will get word of mouth is with a good film.

Mel...

maestrowork
06-28-2009, 11:40 PM
Word of mouth can also be part of marketing: advanced screening, viral promotions on the Internet (YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, etc.) Film festivals. Etc. The fact that The Hangover was successful was because of these advanced screenings and the word of the mouth that came out of them. Of course, it needs to be a good film that viewers can't stop talking about it, but the screenings themselves are part of marketing.

katiemac
06-28-2009, 11:41 PM
Promotion still is expensive unless you get free press, etc. Personally I consider the whole thing (instead of just advertising) as part of marketing, such as having Will Ferrell appear on Saturday Night Live or the Tonight Show. Publicists got paid for them, and it came from the marketing budget.

Marketing, publicity and promotions do cross over a lot. Marketing guys will tell you it's all under the marketing branch, and publicity guys will tell you it's all under publicity. But in the film industry they have different departments for those three things, so that's how I refer to it.

And it's actually very easy to get free press and free promotions, which is where the OP's question comes in -- the smaller films have an easier time doing promotions as opposed to marketing. It might seem like they're not doing as much because you don't necessarily see the results like you do with a TV commercial or print ad (and sometimes even those print ads are free --- promotions, not marketing or advertising), but the film is not on its own. It's not becoming successful by itself.


Publicists got paid for them, and it came from the marketing budget.

Actually, that's not something the publicists would get paid for, unless it's freelance. But the studios have their own people to pitch things like late night, and that's regular salary for them. Will Ferrell's personal publicist, however, gets paid because Ferrell pays her. Usually when someone like Ferrell signs on to do the film, they agree to do the publicity for it. But not always -- and in that case, the studio will usually just pick someone else who agrees. Bale didn't do Terminator press, as I recall, but Worthington and McG did.

katiemac
06-28-2009, 11:56 PM
Word of mouth can also be part of marketing: advanced screening, viral promotions on the Internet (YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, etc.) Film festivals. Etc. The fact that The Hangover was successful was because of these advanced screenings and the word of the mouth that came out of them. Of course, it needs to be a good film that viewers can't stop talking about it, but the screenings themselves are part of marketing.

This is what the studios mostly refer to as promotions, and yes, it's becoming a huge thing. It's exactly why The Hangover did so well -- Warner Bros. pushed very hard on all the promotional aspects.

jodiodi
06-29-2009, 12:16 AM
I've never heard of "The Hangover".

And I watch a LOT of movies. So it must have been promoted when I was in ICU or something.

katiemac
06-29-2009, 12:24 AM
I've never heard of "The Hangover".

And I watch a LOT of movies. So it must have been promoted when I was in ICU or something.

It's still in theaters. Go see it. ;)

Kurtz
06-29-2009, 12:35 AM
Look at Terminator 4 and Transformers 2. Both used aspects of the others marketing campaign to drum up attention (compare the early teasers, where it's just a black screen and then the terminator DA DA DA D-DA comes in, to the early Transformers ones where almost the exact thing happens, but without the iconic recognition, and also the movie posters with just the evil transformer or whatevers glowing eyes)

With the industry the way it is now the whole aim is to drag people back into the cinema so they don't download it. Unless the movie is plastered everywhere and it is marked as something that you absolutley have to see, people won't watch it.