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6 sexy Hollywood marketing lessons

6 sexy Hollywood marketing lessons David Zaleski
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Let's face it: Everyone is jealous of entertainment marketers. Not only do they get to work on cool, sexy projects, but they make it look so easy. When most of the world loves your products, it's almost like they sell themselves.



However, there are specific, commonplace tactics that entertainment marketers use that you can learn from. Did I say "learn from"? I meant steal. But don't worry, everyone steals in this town.

Use online influencers and YouTube celebrities


No, we're not talking about Brad Pitt and Anne Hathaway here. One big thing Hollywood is pioneering is the use of internet celebrities in its marketing strategies. Online A-listers from Nash Grier to Felicia Day are tapped on a consistent basis to help spread the word about a particular movie, show, or product. Why? Because the world lives online. The definition of "celebrity" has evolved to include entertainers that people trust, not just recognize. We call these people "online influencers" for a reason; they have the ability to influence their audience in ways traditional celebrity endorsements don't. Want to add some pizzazz to your campaign? Go to YouTube and take your pick.


Few know more about the power of online celebrities than T.J Marchetti, CMO of AwesomenessTV. He speaks to us about why looping internet stars into your marketing is an excellent way to engage specific demographics.


Embrace experimentation and risk-taking


Hollywood and entertainment marketers have an advantage you probably don't think about; they have to launch many campaigns very quickly. Hollywood moves at breakneck speeds. Things like movies and TV programming have a short shelf life, so campaigns are launched months in advance and have an expiration date. Because of this, entertainment marketers have more freedom to experiment with new tactics and take big risks. After all, if the undertaking isn't very successful, there's always the next campaign. You may not have this luxury, but you should make room in your company for experimentation. It's how Hollywood is breaking ground.


Michele Tobin, VP of brand partnerships and advertising for Rovio Entertainment Ltd., and Mike Rosenberg, VP of media and mobile marketing at Paramount Pictures, speak to iMedia about why taking risks and trying new things is a common Hollywood practice.


Use emotional storytelling that tugs at the heartstrings


Commercials and ads are in themselves mini stories, but it takes something special to turn a narrative into an emotional endeavor. It's something Hollywood does very well. OK, yes, it's easier for them because their ads often are to promote emotional stories, but you should take the essence of what connects people to products and run with it. Inject your campaigns with emotion, and make your audience feel something. Dive deeper into what your product means and what it stands for, and you will find a unique voice.


Mack Carroll, director of digital development at Bellum Entertainment, explains why emotional and heartfelt storytelling is a key ingredient to why Hollywood ads stick.


Think of mobile right from campaign inception


Hollywood does mobile right, and it's no accident. Entertainment marketers are constantly thinking of mobile first when they conceive campaign ideas. Mobile is where the people are, and it's where consumers spend most of their time. Slowly, websites are becoming more responsive to mobile visitors and the expanding mobile advertising opportunities, especially with video. When formulating campaign ideas for your next project, make sure mobile is front and center rather than an afterthought. Not only will you appear to be a forward-thinker, you'll actually reach more eyes.


Mike Rosenberg, VP of media and mobile marketing at Paramount Pictures, speaks about why approaching marketing with a mobile-first mindset is an excellent way to start to replicate Hollywood success.


Use the language of film to deliver entertaining product messages


Film has a vocabulary. When you're watching a good movie, nearly every shot is framed, lit, acted, and composed in a certain way for a reason. Nothing is left to chance when you're experiencing a story from a director who cares. In the marketing world, you are the director of your ads. Don't just throw images together or shoot video without asking why. With every element of your ad, ask yourself what you are trying to accomplish and how to best elicit that response from consumers. Look to the language of film as a guide. How is your ad framed? What colors are you using and why? Is the music matching the message? Hollywood dissects these things down to the bones because they're often overlooked, but extremely important.


Few know more about successful entertainment marketing than Don Buckley, EVP and CMO for Showtime Networks. Here's what he has to say about why employing film language into any marketing campaign is highly beneficial.


Have conversations with your customers; don't just talk


Finally, one thing that everyone (including entertainment marketers) needs to do better is have conversations with the public, rather than get up on a soapbox and tap your marketing shoes. Before the internet and digital revolution, marketers could effectively have a one-way conversation with consumers and deliver their message. After all, every platform (from TV to radio) was a one-way street. Today, that's not the case. Social media and digital content platforms have given consumers a voice, and they like it. You see entertainment marketers these days promoting hashtags, likes, and online conversations with potential viewers all the time. Hollywood knows that if the audience feels spoken to, they are more likely to try out new products.


No one has their pulse on digital trends like Brad Berens, principal at Big Digital Idea Consulting, Inc. He speaks about why engaging consumers in conversation will only become more popular (and unavoidable), especially with the advent of new consumer technology.



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"Portrait of attractive female celebrity posing in front of fans and paparazzi," "laboratory," "Couple and other people, probably friends, in cinema watching a movie; it seems to be a sad movie," "Close up of a man using mobile smart phone outdoor," "women having a conversation" images via Shutterstock.

David Zaleski is the Media Production Manager for iMedia Communications, Inc. He graduated from Loyola Marymount University with a BA in Film & Television Production, specializing in editing, animation and television lighting.  Before...

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