More than any other studio, Sony Pictures has embraced online video to promote its films. According to Visible Measures, the studio leads the league in True Reach with nearly a billion total views from 2011 to March 2012. The next closest studio, by way of reference, has more than 760 million views for the same period. It's not just the sheer numbers that are noteworthy.
To promote "The Vow," a romantic drama with Channing Tatum, Sony cleverly combined star power with Facebook: Known as the "Sweet Nothings" campaign, Tatum recording web videos that carried personalized messages to fans of the movie's Facebook page. "Your friend wanted me to tell you that they think you're pretty awesome," Tatum says in one video, adding, "and they love hanging with you." The campaign also included a steady stream of tweets from inside the studio's marketing department, allowing Sony to keep the conversation going in the period between the trailer's debut and the film's premiere. Perhaps the most novel element of the social media campaign was the decision to post messages on the Facebook page for "Dear John," another romantic drama, with more than 5 million fans.
The campaign worked beyond expectations. "The Vow" opened at No. 1, which was something of a surprise, according to The Los Angeles Times. Ultimately, the movie grossed more than $180 million worldwide.
True Reach numbers provided by Visible Measures.