Studios have rich film archives and cool merchandise. (Harry Potter wand, anyone?) Is this a new way to ignite fans?
As part of the marketing campaign for the summer blockbuster, "The Avengers," Marvel and Apple didn't just tell fans about the upcoming movie. They offered them ways to purchase graphic novels, earlier Marvel superhero movies, and more. As a result, they increased the excitement about the movie while making money from other assets in the Marvel collection. Consumers are watching, reading, and downloading, more media than ever. And this is giving creators and publishers new opportunities to extend the fan experience, while building a deeper relationship with the customer.
But few traditional media companies are taking advantage of the valuable fan relationships. One exception is Warner Bros. The company has an online storefront where fans can purchase recent blockbuster movies. But there's more. WBShop.com also gives fans access to a vast archive of over 7000 movies that were never released to dvd or television. And the company offers not only Blu-ray, dvd, and digital versions of major titles like Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, and Batman, but also exclusive merchandise like iPhone cases, movie posters, and memorabilia (e.g. an acceptance letter to Hogwarts, Lord of the Rings jewelry, and "The Definitive Guide to The Dark Knight").
"I'm kind of a disrupter. We're the group that's selling directly to the consumer. We're not necessarily competing [with the major distributors]. We're adding value to the studio overall." - Michele Edelman, VP of direct-to-consumer marketing, Warner Bros.
Warner Bros. isn't trying to rival the streaming options. (Though in a price comparison for featured movie purchases, WBShop.com pricing for featured movies beat or matched Amazon and Walmart.) But that WB archive—movie classics that you literally can't buy anywhere else—and the high-end memorabilia are cool draws for enthusiasts. Add to that the access to enormous existing fan bases (e.g. 11 million Facebook fans for the movie "The Notebook"), and you have a powerful mix. Here's more from Warner Bros.'s VP of direct-to-consumer marketing Michele Edelman.
0:00 - Movie viewing options continue to evolve
1:00 - Will direct-from-the-studio be the next wave in movie viewing?
1:20 - Cool merchandise and rich movie archives
1:53 - Unique marketing strategies for movies that already have fan bases
Run time is 2:45
Click here for a deeper dive into movie distribution marketing strategies as Michele is joined by Fox's Bettina Sherick, Twitter's Robert Pietsch, and William Morris's SuzAnn Branter in an iMedia summit panel discussion.
Michele Edelman is the Vice President of Worldwide Marketing, Programming and Acquisitions for Warner Bros. Digital Distribution. In her role she oversees all worldwide efforts for Warner Bros. and content partner product over existing, new and emerging digital platforms, including pay-per-view, electronic sell-through, transactional and subscription video-on-demand, wireless, manufacturing-on-demand and more.