Week 6 – Cross-Platform Marketing Sarah Wharton – [email protected] What is cross-platform marketing? How does it differ from conventional ideas of marketing? Why use cross-platform marketing? Case study: The Blair Witch Project. Case study: Donnie Darko and the interactive website. Case study: The BT Family. Conclusions. Seminar info. By the end of the session, learners will be able to: o Identify what a cross-platform marketing campaign is. o Identify how a cross-platform campaign is different to more traditional marketing methods. o Identify examples of cross-platform marketing campaigns. Marketing of a product or service across a variety of media platforms rather than just (but also including) the traditional outlets such as print and TV advertising. What outlets are used (to name but a few)? o TV o Print o Websites (often o o o o interactive) Social networking Viral media (e.g. YouTube videos) Internet forums Blogs Encourages interactivity and engagement rather than passively watching/reading an ad. Feels more akin to entertainment than marketing. More direct engagement with consumers. Wider saturation of message. Can be cheaper if using it instead of traditional marketing channels. Target audience spreads message themselves. Enables use of more creative, subtle marketing techniques. For niche products, enables a direct engagement with fans/target demographic that would be unreachable via mainstream channels. Film Year: 1999 Directors: Daniel Myrick & Eduardo Sánchez Early example of successful crossplatform marketing. Low-budget ($30,000$60,000) horror film that made $140.5 million in US alone. Utilised a viral or mischief marketing campaign. Based on the premise that the film events were real. No interviews from film’s stars as they were supposedly dead. Use of documentary and websites (which existed a year prior to release) to promote the film as an event. Word-of-mouth campaign. Pirate copies of the film “leaked” online. Buzz created through people’s confusion over whether or not events were real. The Blair Witch Website o Official site promoting the film as real events. o Followed by amateur fansites also made by the filmmakers. Curse of the Blair Witch o Sci-Fi Channel “documentary” purporting the film as real. o Available as an extra feature on the film’s DVD (available in SJL). BWP successfully used cross-platform marketing to make a cheap, effective campaign. Since the campaign hinged on hoodwinking people, the crossplatform model was more “realistic” than a traditional movie marketing campaign. Film Year: 2001 Director: Richard Kelly Low budget ($4.5 million) psychological thriller/sci-fi film with a cult following. Used more traditional film-marketing methods with the addition of a highly interactive website. ____donnie darko____ o Official site for the film. o Highly interactive. o Provides a transmedia experience. o Relies on users having seen the film, but its complexity encourages them to see it again by renting or purchasing it on DVD. • Useful guide to navigating the site here. Site is akin to a game where users search for clues for passwords in order to enter the next level. Site gives users additional info on characters and storylines and films in plotholes. o E.g. what happens to Patrick Swayze’s paedophile character if Donnie doesn’t go back in time? Site explains further the complicated theories of timetravel expounded in the film’s narrative. Site extends the audiences experience of the film and gives them reasons to re-watch it. Cross-platform marketing here helps create a cult film out of one that had little-to-no theatrical success (Donnie Darko barely broke even in its US theatrical run). By enabling the audience to “investigate” the film’s content and themes it extends the experience and creates a repeat audience. By using a website to do this it creates something that is accessible to almost everyone (unlike, for example, a video game). Communications service 2005-2011 Cross-platform campaign advertising British Telecom products and services using TV ads, a website and social networking (Facebook). Follows the relationship of Adam and Jane (plus her 2 kids) from meeting to marriage. Follows similar line to the Nescafe Gold Blend ads from 1980s, catching an audience through the “soap” storyline. The BT Family allowed viewers to vote via Facebook on whether or not Jane would fall pregnant (1.6 million voted). This was extended to allow viewers to vote on the wedding dress, wedding car and 1st dance song (480,000 votes). o For full statistics, see this article. Competition was also run for people to win parts as extras in the wedding ad. Set up BT as a service designed to help modern families communicate. Shows BT as a company “in tune” with modern family life. Voting process shows BT as a company that listens to its customers. Encourages potential customers to actively engage with the brand, thereby making them more likely to remember them when changing their phone/internet/TV provider. Cross-platform marketing can be cost-effective. It encourages active engagement from audiences/consumers. This active engagement makes people increasingly likely to remember/buy/consume the product/brand. Key readings: o Gray, Jonathon (2010) Show Sold Separately: Promos, Spoilers, and Other Media Paratexts, New York: New York University Press (Chapter 2) o Cherry, Brigid (2010) ‘Stalking the Web: Celebration, Chat, and Horror film Marketing on the Internet’ in Conrich, Ian (ed.) Horror Zone, New York: I. B. Tauris & Co. Ltd, pp67 – 85. We will be deconstructing a cross-platform marketing campaign in groups. You will be given your assignment briefs and deadlines for Assignment 3.