Whether or not you have preordered your ticket for opening weekend of Sex and the City 2, you might be interested to know that a key player in the franchise may be missing: the Apple computer. HP made a huge media buy to publicize its latest line of chic, designer laptops. They are pretty cute, I must admit.
On top of the multiple product placements in the film, HP has launched a full-blown social media campaign to support the promotion. This includes a flashy microsite detailing the ins and outs of the “2010 Spring Laptop Collection,” as well as a Facebook contest with a glamorous weekend in New York as the grand prize. SJP is also the latest star to walk consumers through her PC in the new TV ads.
Some have said that if content is king, then content distribution is the crown prince. While it remains paramount that brands continue to product relevant and provocative content, the means by which that brand image is shared needs to be just as, if not more, innovative these days.
Product placement is nothing new. Since 1919 when Red Crown Gasoline appeared in the short comedy film The Garage, to the far more recent outpouring of marketing in today’s entertainment, a la Absolute Vodka in Sex and the City, brands have made their mark in non-advertising for a price. Some are subtle (think Volvo in the Twilight series) and some are not so subtle (think the host of consumer brands highlighted in Talladega Nights). But none have found their way into as provocative a spectacle as the recent mini-movie/music video, Telephone by Lady Gaga and Beyonce. Continue reading
As we approach year’s end, I’ve begun to think back to some of the best examples of digital campaigns in 2009. One in particular stands out to me–Paranormal Activity.
I’m not a fan of scary movies, but I have great respect for the creators of Paranormal Activity, a low-budget horror flick released earlier this fall. With a miniscule budget of just $10,000, Paranormal Activity was able to reach blockbuster status after bringing in $22 million in its first weekend in wide-release. And it was all thanks to the power of social media.
While the film earned respectable viewership while in limited release, Paramount Studios saw even greater potential in mainstream audiences—but before investing the cash, they wanted to make sure. The studio launched a grassroots digital campaign to generate buzz around the film and gauge interest from potential viewers. Should 1 million viewers announce online that they’d like to see the film, Paranormal Activity would be expanded to wide-release across the country.
This campaign was hugely successful and the online chatter surrounding the psychological thriller was even more than expected. Horror film buffs took to their blogs, Twitter pages and Facebook account not only asking, but demanding to see the film in wide-release.
“The fans have really made this their film and they are doing the bulk of the work to market the film,” said Megan Colligan, co-president of marketing for Paramount Studios.
The grassroots approach enabled consumers to feel like they were a part of a movement and encouraged them to spread the word—a benchmark of a successful online campaign. Even though I respect and appreciate what the marketers were able to accomplish, I’ll stick to watching It’s a Wonderful Life this time of year.