With so many different streaming services out there, and movies frequently being released in theatres, people have a wide array to choose from when deciding what media to consume. It can be much harder to stand out with the amount of choice out there. This is why it is especially important to market the content being produced. The film M3GAN is a great example of viral marketing. The movie, “a low-budget horror movie about an AI-powered doll, took Hollywood by surprise by grossing $150 million worldwide as of the start of February.” Universal saw the potential of marketing the film using the popular platform TikTok. A meme showing M3GAN doing a sway type of dance began to take off. This resulted in people recreating the dance and associated hashtags took off. It spurred “1.3 billion views from #M3GAN, #M3GANMovie, and #M3GANDance.” This traffic was mostly organic, not costing the studio a large budget in marketing dollars. They took advantage of the growing buzz by hiring a dance group to perform on popular late-night shows and even during a halftime football game.
Low Budget Advertising
Traditionally, a company would have to do market research before implementing a marketing plan. This could be very time-consuming and expensive. Social media marketing, however, allows companies to be able to do their market research while simultaneously maintaining their social network accounts. Not only does this save on a lengthy research process, but it allows the subject to stay relevant. Especially with the release of a new movie, time can be essential as it is important to garner interest leading up to the release date. With more traditional advertising campaigns, there is a very limited capacity to be able to make changes while the campaign is active without spending significantly more money. However, with social media marketing, there is much more flexibility. Campaigns can be adjusted, or even canceled, anytime throughout. Companies can evaluate analytical tools to see what is working and what is not. What links are people clicking on? Which campaigns are holding their attention?
Social media can provide an opportunity for businesses and companies, including movie studios, to be able to market their product without having to spend a lot. Marketing budgets can be lower but still see large returns. Social media has changed the advertising industry. Rather than having to spend money on traditional advertising spaces such as magazines or newspapers that would only reach a selected audience, companies are able to utilize social media to their advantage. Marketers are able to adjust to target certain audiences based on age, gender, and other demographics. Once the content is out there, it can be shared and spread without the original poster having to lift a finger. It is like word-of-mouth advertising but on a much larger scale. People can see others in their networks sharing the content. It is also much easier to reach a drastically larger audience, especially when going viral.
What This Means
Each year the number of movies being released grows. People wanting to attend the movie theatre often have nearly a dozen choices, at any given time, of films to see. The number of films released in 2019 was more than double the number released in 2000. With more and more movies being released each year, studios need to come up with more clever marketing to make sure people are choosing their films to go see. I think the success of social media marketing with M3GAN will cause us to see an increase in these types of marketing strategies and a decrease in more traditional marketing like television and print. It does beg the question if social media marketing can start to be used alone, or if it will see the best success when used in conjunction with other marketing.
Personally, I did see a lot about the movie M3GAN on social media and it did make it seem more interesting to me. Posts did not seem to give away the plot but enhanced the creepier elements of the movie and made me curious. I also feel it can add to the idea of FOMO – the fear of missing out. If a lot of people are posting about, or sharing memes from a particular movie or show, it can really make people feel like they are missing out by not having seen it.
Do you remember seeing anything about the movie M3GAN on social media? Can you think of an example, movie, or product, where you first learned about the product through social media advertising and decided to consume it? Do you dislike seeing things like movies being promoted on social media, does it feel inauthentic?
How the movie #M3GAN took social marketing to a whole other level and succeeded because of it #viralmarketing #socialmarketing #socialmedia http://bit.ly/3nWVtTD
The movie M3GAN is a great case study of social media marketing and how viral trends can turn into a marketer’s dream. How was the campaign different and what were the results?
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