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August 25 2006

Internet buzz and all that jazz. Interesting article which amongst other things looks at whether internet buzz actually translates into box office success. There's comments from the head of marketing at Universal Pictures about their Serenity campaign.

I think this is the first mention I've seen of Serenity by a Universal exec in absolutely ages.

I don't understand how showing the movie at the advance previews (although that phrase is a little redundant, isn't it?) counts as internet buzz. Surely that could and did work as regular old-fashioned personal recomendation, face to face type hype. True they sold online and we knew about it because we were online but the results wouldn't be different.
Well, the screenings generated tons of online discussion. There were special "I've seen Serenity" boards, regular fans posted about it on their blogs, and then they invited the blogger community at large to free screenings. So the screenings themselves weren't online, but that's where the discussion went (a search for "serenity screening" on this site yields 30-40 threads).
Where the Uni exec goes wrong -- of course, he could have said a lot more that went unpublished -- is saying they created some web presence whereas we all know we were already there (er, here). Their activity didn't add that much more to the movie's awareness, IMHO. The didn't do enough in other media, etc., blah, blah, blah. We've been all over this before so I don't want to repeat/resume the earlier threads . . .

Thanks for the link, Simon.

[ edited by Drifter on 2006-08-26 08:11 ]
Yeah, what Drifter said. Also, many of the same already-online people post at different boards or blogs. So, to marketing execs, one person can look like ten or twenty in his/her online presence, distorting the appearance of how much "buzz" there is -- and, as unlikely as it might seem, that one person may have decided to wait for the DVDs -- or may have lived in Katrina-land. The internet is not yet the equivalent of the water-cooler, where good buzz reaches people of all interests and walks of life, not just the built-in audience of finite numbers. Nor does it replace the traditional TV ads and talk-show appearances, where I still frequently make decisions about what I want to see. I'm still of the opinion that the traditional marketing for Serenity was so poorly conceived that it failed to do its job. But, again, this is repetitive of what has been said hundreds of times.
palehorse, I never thought of that. You're right, a lot of us are on multiple sites. Good point!

I honestly feel cheapened by their whole marketing strategy. It's like we were used to do their job. pout, pout, pout.....OK, I'm done.

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