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July 27 2009

Dollhouse Season 1 DVD promotion: a great example of Twitter Marketing. A UK business blogger comments on the use of social marketing resources in the online marketing of the Season 1 DVDs. On a related note Newsarama, compares the different promotion strategies used at Comicon by Fox for Dollhouse and Universal for Heroes.

[ edited by zeitgeist on 2009-07-27 14:29 ]

Re Newsarama article: While it might be that Dollhouse gets a more rabid fan-reaction with less marketing, it's still nowhere near the general popularity of Heroes.
It may be a great example of marketing but has anyone actually used it?
It was neat to read how a newcomer responded to his first exposure Eliza's personality/character as conveyed through her micro-bloggings. She may look like a fantasy (and play one or more on TV) but she comes across very real.
Also does anyone know if Adblock Plus prevents people from seeing the ad?
It doesn't work on my Google Chrome browser, but here is the ad to test:
http://cdn.eyewonder.com/100125/marketing/demos/dollhouse1/index.html
That guy taking the piss out of how the tedious bureaucratic way that FOX guy speaks made me smile
I'm not sure their vaunted "tweet via this ad" ad is quite as important when it comes to marketing as is the methodical and frequently annoying grunt work of actually engaging with an audience/customer base who has questions or problems.

Throughout Dollhouse season one and into the Comic-Con edition and the DVD release, none of the involved FOX entities did that, despite there being constant questions about renewal, premiere dates (domestic and int'l), DVD release dates and whatnot. Fans did that -- some of whom sat down several times a day, day after day, specifically to do so.

The ad is flashy (no pun intended), but it doesn't reflect what real marketing means when it comes to social media.

[ edited by The One True b!X on 2009-07-27 17:17 ]
While I generally agree with you(r frustration), b!X, I also think there's a difference between marketing randomly (i.e. also to potential newcomers) which this ad seems to be, and a specific social media approach to existing fans of the show. In that regard, I think your criticism applies directly to something like the official Dollhouse Wiki (incredibly painful failure). This ad seems too "broad" for me to get that kind of heat.

And, to be clear, I do think that both kinds of marketing should happen and should happen online: Random-yet-engaging eye-catchers for everyone, and specific in-depth interaction for already-fans.

Edit: Painful spelling.

[ edited by wiesengrund on 2009-07-27 17:35 ]
But the article says the ad is "pretty imaginative ... in the concept of how Twitter is used by the TV show’s marketers as an integral element in overall communication outreach". My contention is that while it might be imaginative, it isn't how social media is best used if what you're after is marketing.

Social media is a conversation. The FOX entities have been all but absent from that conversation. I don't see any marketing watchers writing up @watchdollhouse or everything TamaraC was doing to try to stay on top of the Comic-Con edition ordering problems. (Deep apologies for the self-reference, but I don't know how to avoid it in this context, and mentioning just these two is not meant to exclude anything or anyone else.)

Those efforts were the real stuff of social media marketing. Mainly because it wasn't "marketing" -- it was problem solving and conversation. Had all of those conversations occurred with the involvement of FOX entities instead of fans, think of the promotional cred that would have netted them.
I cannot claim to know what a "best" use is, since my perspective is definitely biased by being a fan (and therefore more frustrated by the lack of proper conversation and problem solving). I can, however, imagine such strategies as this ad being an integral part of using of social media to market a show... as long as it's not the only one.

I think the problem is: Saying that it's an "integral element in overall communication outreach" is a bit ridiculous if the "overall communication outreach" is so small as it was with Dollhouse. But in essence, I think the statement is true. It's a neat idea. (And one I don't want to hold responsible for the lack of other ideas the marketing department showcased.)

And, yeah, Fox should really consider the positive effect it would have, if they would actually reach out to fans beyond myspace-toolkits and paper dolls. (I am, however, not angry at them for the hours I spent doing their job. That was my decision.)
Dollhouse Season 1 DVD promotion The Guild: a great example of Twitter Marketing.
Heroes is horrible, and has been since the end of the first season. Dollhouse is brilliant. Let us hope that a few more people start to realize that over time.

edit: On a side note, I finally started a Twitter account, primarily to follow Whedonesque over Comic-Con, as well as Eliza's account (and Colbert). So maybe they are right.

[ edited by SteppeMerc on 2009-07-27 19:30 ]
I think Sunfire nailed it on the head.

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