Movie Marketing Online?

Current state of affairs, in a nutshell – Jazzy flash microsites, some media, wallpaper/ringtone downloads, Limited interaction possibilities, No dynamic content. Few Conversations.

Much as they’re high on visual appeal and can impress easily, I wonder if static microsites for brands/movies are the best things to do online. After having spent 10 minutes through the site, browsing through the content, there’s pretty much no reason for me to stay longer, or to ever come back to the site.

I don’t even end up discussing it on the coffee table, or in other online conversations.

I saw some new possibilities being explored with Ghazini, including the 15 minute timer that refreshes the site, to make you ‘forget everything‘, and the entire music of the movie being available for streaming online. comprehensive, but heavy on the bandwidth and static. A wee bit more interactive than most other such sites!

Of course, Ghajini, by far being the best marketed movie ever, only had a limited dependence on the internet to gain its audience. Additional things on the web, were only of a small marginal utility to them.

Before I start generating ideas about what can be done better, and engage the audience more, I find myself faced with the question that with a country full of bollywood crazy people and media do movies really need to bother about being online?

With the current size of the internet audience, and the several other windows for bollywood to get exposure ( mass media and the zillions of bollywood websites), to have it’s own site, may not be all that important to the film. All the site would do, is make a minor contribution.

On a simple metric of it’s importance, is going online in anyway going to help ticket sales? Maybe Yes! It may not be immediately apparent though.

For small budget films looking at the multiplex audience, it could be easier to reach out online. The interesting things to be a combination of ,

– To start with, quality media content around the movie, goes without saying.

– Engaging interactive content – games/ puzzles/quizzes/flash games/guessing games/trivia quizzes/

Could even include setting up a virtual star mannequin, that can be dressed up by visitors, and put up for voting by other visitors in a ‘Hot or Not’ format.

– A dynamic section that is updated daily/twice a week – content, the star blog/microblog, star text/video/audio blurbs/scenes that were edited out in the movie.

– Behind the screen videos, fun that the crew had, or is still having on the sets!

– Section for user generated content – a multimedia message board – greetings to the stars, expressions, fan mail, expectations of the movies.

– I would think the site should start well before the movie trailers start on the television, so the audience end up feeling a part of the movie making process. The movie, is a story, and it’s making, could be a story in itself.

Generate good content, and put it online! It’ll be seen, followed, and passed around.

Having cleared my head, I think it’s all been some general fundaes, and I didn’t find a compelling argument for a movie to take online marketing seriously.

Shall edit and add more points when I do find them. But am sure there’s a LOT more scope for creativity than is being used right now!

On to exploring what brands can do on the internet… lets make some plans, the imagination going wild!

Internet Marketing in India?

Have been breaking my head all day to understand the suite of services that a complete internet division in an ad agency must have, to be able to deliver genuine value to the clients. Got to ensure that the clients are not put off with their early experiments, but instead,  get increasingly excited by what internet can do for them.

Slow moving ad agencies – don’t know what to do what the internet can really do for their clients!

Fragmented small internet Agencies – Digital Marketing and now Social Media Optimization/Marketing. Smart entrepreneurs but limited client access and limited resources.

The Hypothesis, the Ad agency enjoys a long relationship and credibility with the client and would find it easy to get him to experiment. But it doesn’t have the in house competence to create and execute solutions. If we could find a smart way of bridging these Agencies, and build the bridge between the innovative startups and the clients, it could be a rather interesting thing.

To get involved as this interface point, would give me an opportunity to play a role I like the most – the integrator – to bring the different stakeholders to a table.. and get the action going.

Though managing the diverse interests of the stakeholders could be a challenge in itself, it would be interesting. To begin with, try reaching the resources from where they are, and then over a period, build the competence in house, as you go about learning your lessons in understanding the whole thing yourself.

Over a period, however, the big agency would want to develop its own team, rather than outsource the work further to smaller agencies. And the fun part is, the smart guys running the smaller agencies won’t be keen to join the big agencies as employees!

So the quest is, to create a semi independent entity within the agency’s current structure, which enables the freedom to the internet smart guys to work their way, and yet have the resources and client access enabled by the agency. It can’t be a pure employment model.

Ok. A bunch of hypotheses. Only way to do a reality check is to go through the exploration myself.

After writing all this down, and looking at the myriad bunch of activities happening on the web, in a fragmented way, think it’s not SO complicated or overwhelming as it seemed, in the beginning. Lets see if something’s really gotten into my head or not!

Time to make a powerpoint, to visually present my understanding of the whole thing.