If you call yourself a movie fanatic, then 21 August, 2009 was a day you will always have to remember. Movie lovers and anyone who love going to cinemas were defiantly in a rush that day to be in any near IMAX Theater. In more than a hundred IMAX 3-D cinemas all over the world watched just 16 minutes preview of the footage from the new James Cameron movie the Avatar. Just on the same day, Ubisoft debuted a preview on a video game based on the movie, and Mattel unveiled action toys based on the movie characters. On the other hand, a day earlier, the teaser made for this movie broke records on Apple.com, this was after the teaser was streamed more than four million times during the first day.
On that day August 21, it was a celebration for all movie lovers and movie productions and for that it was a holiday and till now it is remembered as “Avatar Day.” Today it is remembered as the dawn of the most planned and successful digital marketing campaign ever created to support a movie (Evan, 2011). In this movie James Cameroon and his crew went to all limits and for sure they deserved what the movie gave them in return. For Avatar to stand out above the rest of the movies as it did, there are a lot of strategies and plans which were put in motion for all this to happen. Below are some of the details of key components of how the marketing campaign of the movie became such a success, in some I will illustrate with a character and creature within “Avatar.”
The Home tree: Avatar’s Website
The clarity and visual perfection of the home tree on Pandora portrays what has been cultivated on the movies official website. On the websites visitors have more than they can get on a standard trailer, this is by images and all background materials. In the website, you will find 14 side scrolling square boxes that will show a lot of digital products that make this movie different from the rest. On top of this the fans have the capability of accessing the story, character information, music, and picture downloads. And to make the website more interesting the fans can also be able to share their views and showcase their personal interests on the movie. In the movie just about when humans destroyed the home tree for wealth and pursuit of personal interests, the movies website home page had its own destructions in mid-August when the movie fans crushed the site in the process of trying to get free tickets for “Avatar Day.”
The Banshee: The AIR Interactive Trailer
The movies interactive trailer comes before other previous movie trailers, and this is all because of integration of social media feeds, and eleven points of interaction that gives viewers the opportunity for one click access to each character. This means that the fans can choose the characters they want to view in a trailer and by this they unlock additional contents. The creation of this trailer was made possible by the use of adobe AIR software, which creates a flexible platform for developers. The outcome of this achievement is that the fans get to enjoy more exciting experience like never before, which more of less the same as to the one is offered in Banshee skipping in the movie. The preview is a motion and frequently refreshed gateway to the movie, which appears to be real and capture the moment it begins. The other advantage is that the preview comes with three options to purchase tickets.
The Tree of Souls: Social Media:
In the movie the character Na’vi believes that in the tree of souls, which a resting place for the souls of ancestors, was the main link of what connected them to one another. Through this idea, there is a connection to social media that is always connected to our past in one way or the other. Social media being one of the fastest ways to pass information around all over the world, film movie makers had to use the advantage when marketing Avatar. The movies unbelievably got the attention it required on social sites for example it got about 1.5 million fans on Facebook alone, in Myspace the fans were about 800,000 and on twitter I gained about 26,000 followers. According to one of Americas social media analytic firm, they said that Avatar was the most talked about movie in the year 2010 in twitter. However, some tweets resulted to tweet and listen promotion that required the fans to send messages via twitter and after doing that then they will be able to listen to music used in the movie as soundtracks. The social media strategy Avatar used also extended to YouTube that gained over 12 million views, on flicker it got 1.5million people viewing the photos and a type pad blogging community of about 5000 people.
Hallelujah Mountains: Augmented Reality
In the movie, the gravity opposing Hallelujah Mountains appears to be challenging the ability to hear or see, which is also what had been made greater and reality pushes to do by tabling an interesting experience that floats in front of the viewer’s eyes. The creation of “Avatar” toys which could be activated and brought to life through the help of webcams and special product tags. While on the other side Coke zero introduced soda cans that opened up a world of Pandora. The final result is that “Avatar” is so far the biggest movie ever made in the box office of all times. This movie sold over $2 billion in tickets sales which was mostly influenced by 3-D taxes and international interests. Through “Avatar” James Cameron became one of the greatest movie makers of all time having two of the top-grossing movie topping on the box office at the same time. The question remains to be what lead to the success of this movie?
The primary objective of any marketing strategy in the movie industry is to make sure that the fans get the product you are marketing. While at the same time gets to theaters to watch the movies that they have to pay about $10 to $15 and have to watch the movie for several hours. After the campaign made by the advertisers, millions of people all went out to theatres just to enjoy the movie and 3-D glasses, and the fans also got to bring a phrase from the movie to life which was used by Na’vi: Oel ngati kameie meaning “I see you.”
This is the processes in which the improvements in the movie made it unique as compared to other films. However, they are not just the only methods James Cameron used to make “Avatar” a success in the digital movie era. The introduction of 3-D camera and stimulcam were not just the technology’s that turned James Cameron’s sci-fi unique and a success. Many other small movies have also turned to social media to spread the word guerrilla-style, but so far no other blockbuster movie has turned to social media marketing like Avatar did. After using this method to market its film, the results they got from the first opening weekend Avatar made $232 million and ranked the movie on #2 highest grossing movie of all times. Cameron’s $500million act of hubris finally bared fruits.
Reinventing the Movie Trailer Online
Knowing that Avatar was never the first film to make a trailer in a different manner online. Then it means that it was never the first to try out most of this things required for online advertising. But using an expensive strategy, and at the same time combine it with several existing ideas was what made this movie’s social media campaign go big. In the beginning it started with ideas which many movies use now: a preview debut from Apple, which was announced on twitter and the anxiety was too high from the fans to such an extent that the servers had to get the trailer out to the people who wanted it.
Afterward, about a month later the movie released the second trailer, this became a success since many fans were eagerly waiting to see the trailer for a whole month and with that the fans made their own mash-up trailers which involved Avatar and other movies. However, after making the second preview they did not stop there and they went forth and made the third trailer and to their surprise the preview was the best they had achieved so far, and to an extend it blew everyone away beyond their expectation. An interactive preview was introduced using Adobe Air software and therefore in required one to download that is a bit hectic, but to all Avatar fans the download was worth it. The download had special features such as featured contend, and the fans could read all updated social media updates on the movie from the trailer. This move was the biggest move that Avatar had taken since it got press coverage and buzz (Dave, 2011).
The Facebook and MTV Webcast
On 3 December, Facebook joined forces with MTV.com and were sponsored by LG webcast known as “Avatar Live.” An interview was made to get word from the great minds behind the creation and success of the movie and this were people like James Cameron the Director, the producers Jon Landau, the Actors Zoe Saldana and Sam Washington. In this interview, the fans also got to ask them any questions they wanted to about the movie. Even though the interview can be said to have been short and brief, it is still considered to be one of the amazing webcast to have been seen up to date (Mitchell_A_Zucker) . This is because it is not always that simple to see big Hollywood names all sitting at the same place answering questions from their fans all at the same time. Even though having the community come to interact with a director of such caliber is a once in a lifetime opportunity, it made us remember of director Peter Jackson’s daily updates from the famous set of The Lord of the Rings. What was experienced in both cases is the fact that people who did not know much about the movies also turned out for the sale and learn more about the film while on the other hand the fans also showed up in large numbers to also get to know all what they did not know yet and get new words to spread around to friends and other people they interact with.
Broadcasting the Premiere Live On UstreamOne of the most respected way for any celebrity or movie to go down is by using the red carpet. Avatar was premiered at the red carpet and broadcasted live to the audience on a video streaming site Ustream. Besides the technology media coverage this pulled, this idea was not a new stunt since movies like twilight saga New moon had already put it on trial, however, we can say it made many people happy that day. The point is a movie should use all ways possible it gets to get the awareness of the movie out.
This broadcast made at the red carpet was sponsored by Myspace, and with this it means that the move reached fans who got to miss the presentation in Facebook or any other social media site. The fans of Avatar had the opportunity to watch the preview and the video in bot Myspace web page in addition to Ustream website. The fact that the red carpet was one week before the movie was released and aired in cinemas was another way to get the awareness of the movie to the fans during the final days of marketing before the final release date of the eagerly awaited movie.
Avatar is one of the most thrilling Sci-fi, fantasy, adventure movie ever made. The story line is with no doubt captivating to the audience. Due to these features it was made easy for Cameron and his crew to market the movie since all the fans were thrilled and eager to see the movie after watching the trailers offered on the movie. However, in marketing Avatar the movie had to also come up with action figures which would symbolize the characters and through this they got to attract more children fans to get to buy the toys and also want to watch the movie (Dave, 2011). Coming up with unique posters of the movie was also another marvelous move Avatar came up with, since everyone who was a fan wanted to at least have a poster of the movie in the house or even in their bedrooms and through that all the friend of people with the posters would end up being drawn slowly into liking the movie. According to (Mesa, 2009). another reason many people ended up liking the movie is the fact that we were all amazed by the work made by the make-up artist in the movie, actually they made the characters look so real in such a way that has never been seen before. The details on the characters and the make-up were just out of this world.
From this essay, it is evident that James Camron went to all measures to make Avatar such a success. However, many movies might have tried using the same marketing strategies but the little details and changes that James Cameron brought to the production and marketing of the movie are what actually made the difference and ended up make this movie the greatest movie of all times. However, this made it everyone’s business to play the marketing roles which were to be played by everyone during the movie sale and we even see how the fans got the chance to market the movie and also comment on live updates about the movie. This time it is with no doubt that James Cameron overdid himself in this movie. Having such a big movie is not something people see every day it takes practice and experience to be what James Cameron is, but we cannot be so surprised about this since James Cameron had another blockbuster “Titanic” which was also top of the box office before he broke his own record with Avatar. This movie “Avatar” did not just be successful it changed the movie industry as we knew it and for that I have doubt that Avatar will be a movie that will be remembered for several decades to come or even a century.
Jeannet, J. (2004). Cases in global marketing strategies. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
Evan, S. (2011). Avatar. Pittsburgh, PA: Six Gallery Press.
Mesa, A. (2009). Brand Avatar: translating virtual world branding into real world success. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
Kautonen, T. (2008). Trust and new technologies marketing and management on the Internet and mobile media. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar.
Dave, D. (2011). Think before you engage 100 questions to ask before starting a social media marketing campaign. Indianapolis, IN: John Wiley & Sons.
Paul, A. (2009). Digital strategies for powerful corporate communications. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Mattias, B. (2011). How Cool Brands Stay Hot. Kogan Page
Matthew, S. (2011). Handbook of research on digital media and advertising: user generated content consumption. Hershey, PA: Information Science Reference.
Roger, A. (2009). Marketing. Boston: McGraw-Hill/Irwin.
Article Source: Mitchell_A_Zucker. http://teammaz.wordpress.com/about/oliveborden.blogspot.com/…/identify-your-target-market-with-this.html
Marketing Strategies of movies —-Avatar. http://blogs.ubc.ca/daisydong/2013/02/24/marketing-strategies-of-movies-avatar/