Tim Burton is the master of creating cult classics. He has the ability to bring out the emo in all of us. That said, it’s no wonder why millions of people are anxiously awaiting the release of his new take on the childhood classic, Alice in Wonderland, due to hit theaters this coming spring.
To generate buzz around the opening, Disney launched a Facebook fan page for the film in July of 2009, which already has nearly 67,000 subscribing enthusiasts. The page is regularly updated with information about the film, appearances by the stars (Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter and Anne Hathaway as The White Queen), and discussions about nostalgia associated with the classic tale.
At face value, it seems that Disney is doing everything right in the social media space. So what went so wrong?
Tim Burton was expected to unveil the full-length trailer at San Diego’s ComicCon. What YouTube has proven in the last year or two is that if a video exists, it will likely be uploaded as quickly as possible. And sure enough, the trailer was added to the site before Burton had the chance. The video quickly became viral.
Within hours, Disney had the video removed from YouTube. What a terrible move!
By allowing the video to remain on YouTube, the film was gaining free publicity. One of the benefits of YouTube is the ease of sharing—anyone is able to pass along content, embed video to their blogs, Facebook pages, etc., and post comments about the content. Why turn that organic publicity away?
By now, they appear to have learned their lesson, as multiple versions of the trailer are now available. New clips are also regularly posted on the Facebook page, so check it out!
*Thanks to Rob Longert for the topic idea!