Why I like Twilight (professionally)

11/20/2009 at 4:08 PM Leave a comment

With the new Twilight movie “New Moon” coming out today, I feel it’s only necessary to write about the elephant in the room. Twilight is a series that is guaranteed to spawn one of two reactions: rolling eyes or incessant swooning – I fall into the former group.

However, while I personally view the movies to be about as entertaining as a water fountain, professionally I am fascinated by them — starting with the first one.

Here was a movie that had a no-name cast (the only people I recognized was the guy who played Cedric Diggory and the guy who was the jock in “Can’t Hardly Wait”), was made on an average budget at best and has some of the corniest plotlines I have ever seen – there’s no way this will fly with the jaded movie-going public. Wrong.

The marketing minds behind the Twilight movies need a raise right now. They used their knowledge of the target audience and market trends to turn what was a just another series of books into a cultural phenomenon.

One of the most important things the minds behind Twilight’s marketing discovered was their Internet savvy target audience. From there they launched a digital marketing campaign that has been compared to what Obama did during the election. The campaign utilized multiple social media outlets, widgets/applications and microsites featuring exclusive web content. Keep in mind executing a multi-platform digital plan was still relatively new (yes, marketing moves that fast), so while it seems like this is standard now, last year it was viewed as progressive.

How well did it work you ask, lets go down the figures. In the month leading up to the first movie’s release, Fandango reported 58% of their online ticket sales were for “Twilight”. Another survey conducted by Fandango showed 87% of people had seen the trailer online and 92% of those people said the trailer made them want to go see the movie. Why hello return-on-investment, good to see you.

The efforts don’t look to be slowing down either. For the just-released “New Moon”, the studio partnered with AT&T and released a mobile/social media plan designed to actually connect the fans with the actors in the movie, further imprinting any emotional ties they might have with the story. Say what you want about Twilight, those people know what they’re doing.

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Rah Rah TCU! Happy Thanksgiving!

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