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Movie Biz Cashes in on Early Online Marketing



The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo opens in theaters just before Christmas, but the teaser trailer popped up on the web back in March. The studio claimed it was “leaked” but it’s quite likely that it was “leaked” on purpose in order to create buzz for the film.

Early advertising is paying off for the movie biz in a big way as more and more people go online to search for news of coming films. According to an article on MediaPost, studios have seen huge spikes prior to a film’s release such as an 8,510% rise on searches for “The Help” in the past 30 days. That’s a lot of buzz.

What’s interesting about movie advertising is that it has a short shelf life compared to a product like dishwashing detergent or a local cafe. It’s a cycle that is understood by seasonal retailers like those who sell Halloween costumes or Christmas trees. But what if we take The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo scenario and apply that to a Halloween costume webstore? Is ten months too early to begin advertising your wares? How about six months? Does timing even matter anymore?

Certainly, you don’t want to blow your budget on Halloween ads two days before Christmas, but advertising earlier than normal could pay off. Remember, we’re a highly suggestive bunch, so offering deals on Halloween costumes in June might not be as ridiculous as it sounds.

Then there’s the concept of the teaser trailer. These are short clips that are designed to intrigue an audience long before the actual trailer is released. Some don’t even include the name of the movie, such as the teasers for Cloverfield and the new Star Trek movie.

How would that work out for your business? Is there an intriguing visual that you could circulate via social media and YouTube? Something that would get people talking and guessing? The internet has the power to blur holiday shopping cycles. There’s no shelf space to worry about, so you can sell Christmas ornaments 365 days a year, and there are people that will buy them in June as well as December.

Consider this one of those ‘thinking out loud’ posts. Take a few minutes today to think about your seasonal business and how you could extend your season by a few weeks or a few months. If Hollywood can sell a movie ten months before the tickets are available, you can sell Halloween costumes in May.

  • http://www.socialmarketingdynamics.com/ Sydney @ Social Dynamics

    It sounds smart actually, to give teasers before the actual release. It leaves people guessing and curious, especially if you have an effective marketing campaign. I’d think something interactive and creative would definitely be in the horizon for our advertising plans.

    • http://www.williams-agency.net Dan Williams

      i agree totally, the last three movies I’ve seen were because I was sucked in by a teaser.