Robin has pointed me in the direction (thanks Robin) of a really interesting article in SMH describing how three Aussie movies failed to connect with local audiences, resulting in a dire performance for home-grown movies at the box office. what really surprised me though was that if I hadn't have read the article, I'd have no idea that any of these movies even existed.
I wrote a post back in August celebrating recent marketing initiatives for Scott Pilgrim and The Expendables. initiatives that weren't necessarily expansive nor expensive. just smart ways to market and communicate the existence of a movie to a relevant audience. movies and spoilt for (rich) content that they can use and deploy to engage and nudge an audience into attending.
marketing seems to have been a non (let alone second) thought to the movies that failed to cause a stir last week. Griff the Invisible (above), The Reef and A Heartbeat Away all seem to have relied solely on being in cinemas to encourage viewing – which is simply no longer enough (if it ever was).
there's simply too much distraction now. too many other options. too much to distract you from the planned cinema trip on the off chance that there's something on that you'll be up for seeing.
making movies means marketing movies.
at it's worst this means investing in a commodity media buy to get the trailer in front of as many people as possible (this will usually take the form of a TV campaign although for super light TV viewers for me a jot of outdoor will help too). but at it's best this can mean creating marketing that becomes an extension of your movie. AI and The Beast anyone? or Dark Knight and Why So Serious?
perhaps if marketing was seen as a storytelling and engaging extension of the movie product, it would be higher up the agendas of people who make movies. perhaps if marketing wasn't a bought (and relatively expensive) commodity buy it would be invested with the same creativity with which the movie was made. perhaps if these movies had been intelligently marketed they wouldn't have all vanished without a trace. perhaps, perhaps, perhaps.