Hollywood has had perhaps the worst summers ever so far. Almost all the major blockbusters this year, with all their special effects, big stars and ridiculous amounts of advertising, have bombed. This had been predicted by Steven Spielberg just months before, in which he told an audience, “there’s going to be an implosion where three or four or maybe even a half-dozen mega-budget movies are going to go crashing into the ground, and that’s going to change the paradigm.” Still, Hollywood spends ridiculous amounts of money for advertising in TV, Print and even online – but has spent almost nothing in performance and affiliate marketing. That is going to doom them, faster than they think.
In fact, the numbers for Hollywood spend in performance marketing might be absolutely none. I couldn’t find any numbers and the few experts that I queried, said they couldn’t even think of an example of a performance marketing budget for a Hollywood film. It seems that the studios have drunk the cool-aid that brand-only marketing is the only way to market a film, and have completely ignored the possibilities of performance marketing. Strange that they are doing this while loosing more and more on average per film.
As I made clear above, if Hollywood does not embrace performance marketing as a method of advertising, they are going to doom themselves. However, if they decide to wise up, it might actually save Hollywood. Here are a few reason they need to get into performance marketing ASAP.
1) Performance marketing can engage consumers. Online is becoming a lot more than a banner or pre-roll video, but that is still where most of the Hollywood spends it. Imagine creating online games about the movie, where you pay affiliates based on how many times a consumer plays the game? You’d be bringing consumers into a world where they would learn more about a movie before seeing it, and also setting them up for buying products based on the movie.
2) Performance Marketing can predict future ticket sales. How about paying affiliates to get information at the end of a trailer from possible movie-goers about a films future success? You could actually find consumer interest based on pre-made trailers of a movie that isn’t even in production – and find out if its going to waste its $250M budget. I could have told you that no one really was interested in seeing the Lone Ranger.
3) Performance Marketing can save a doomed movie. Studios could offer downloads of movies online to consumers directly, and pay affiliates a cost per download. Instead of going to a movie theater, imagine paying $20 to download a movie the same day of the release. The technology is there to prevent copying, and being able to promote a new movie over Facebook and social media would be eaten up by affiliates. Direct to DVD/Netflix is where a lot of movies are going anyway, so why not embrace the model as a way to perhaps release new films.
The current method of promoting movies isn’t working. Studios are clueless what people really want, and by refusing to embrace affiliate and performance marketing, they are going to find themselves in serious trouble.