Evaluation question two: How effective is the combination of your main product and ancillary texts?. Jessica King.
Evaluation question two:How effective is the combination of your main product and ancillary texts?
When it comes to promotion, it is extremely important to target your audience affectively. It is important to have a positive impact on your audience so as to make money, recoup the cost of production, and to ensure your film is seen. In order to do this you need to have a detailed understanding of your target audience, not just their age, gender etc., but their lifestyle, consumption and social networking habits.
The target audience for our film spans a wide age range from 15- 35 year olds. Aspects of the narrative and style appeal to both genders and a multi-class following. Most importantly, our film targets a niche segment of the market as it is postmodern and experiments with alternative elements such as the graphic novel theme. Because of this, our audience needs to be targeted in a very direct and focused way. This is largely due to limited funds which would make large-scale marketing such as billboards difficult. It would be most beneficial to make use of magazines that are specifically targeted at a similar audience such as Little White Lies and perhaps fan sites that already have a following of people likely to appreciate our film.
A similar film to our own, appealing to an indie and more art-house audience is ‘Submarine’. So I looked up the exit polls for it’s release. This is particularly important with independent films as they are only shown in a few cinemas and to a niche market therefore research must be thorough. The results of the polls show reviews were a crucial lure to the audience and unlike we estimated, the majority of the audience were males over the age of 30. For independent cinema, it is important to achieve a good reputation as the polls have exampled many went to see it due to reviews. However, more traditional avenues such as marketing was shown as also a high percentage of why they went to see it. Therefore, using traditional push marketing like our magazine and poster will be effective in this market segment.
RainDance film festival showcases many independent films and generates an audience who already have an interest in independent and alternative film.
Social media is also a very effective way of marketing, especially for indie films that have limited budget. Networks such as Facebook provide a cheap, large-scope way of getting information on the film to an audience. It is also far more likely that if a someone shows an interest for something through social media their friends will pay attention and like it too. This way information and awareness of the film gets spread effectively and quickly through friends without the film makers having to spend large amounts of time and money through promotion.
Pre-release screening is another way of marketing a film that really helps with accurate audience targeting. The film (often a rough cut) is shown to a varied audience who then answer a questionnaire based on their reaction to the film. This helps show what kind of person is most likely to enjoy the film, thus a target audience can be defined, and also helps to make any changes or adjustments to the film before release. Scott Pilgrim vs the World, a film similar to our own, released the first clip of the film at the 2010 MTV movie awards. This was a clever way to raise interest in a film that was described as a “tricky one to sell”. Our film would be unlikely to be able to feature at such a large and mainstream awards event however a similar thing could be achieved at a smaller occasion.
“When planning a new release, relying solely on conventional wisdom is never an option” FDA Guide to Film Distribution. This emphasises that new marketing techniques are important to keep audiences interested, especially when “audiences have so many other choices” in a market that is ever advancing and evolving.
After establishing our target audience as alternative and multi gendered, aged and classed, we researched similar films. Our film is Tarantino inspired so we aimed to target a similar audience, perhaps those who like Kill Bill. Therefore we tried to use a range of effects in our trailer to highlight the fact that it is indie and stylistic such as the graphic novel stills and the alternative fonts we used.
To reach our audience we would have our trailer shown on t.v
which is typically conventional of a film trailer. However, this is
costly and push marketing is often ineffective with younger audiences. Therefore we would also launch our trailer online so as to keep costs down, reach a large audience and increase the scale of marketing. Our trailer is an effective marketing tool that draws the audience in using a number of different techniques. The narrative is hinted at throughout the trailer mainly through narrative text on screen, however much of the rest of the plot is not given away such as the drug subculture. This leaves the audience wanting to know more therefore lures them in.
The audience are also left guessing through the representation of our main character because she is introduced in one light then shown undergoing a change in a time remapped montage. This causes the viewers to wonder what the outcome will be.
We decided it would be a strategic idea to release our film in January as this would be a good way of taking advantage of the bad weather because this is when many people are likely to go to the cinema. However, we didn’t want to release it in the earlier winter months as this is often seen as the Christmas film period.
Posters are push products as they do not involve any audience interaction. They can reach a wide audience as they can be placed almost anywhere, however, our marketing budget would be rather limited so our poster would be distributed on a relatively small scale. We tried to achieve synergy between all three products by maintaining the graphic novel image through using similar fonts in all three products for example.
In terms of marketing strategy, the poster would be released at the same time as the trailer. The effect of releasing both at the same time would be the public’s recognition as a poster often goes unnoticed unless there is pull technology to accompany it. This would also create a hype and anticipation around the film.
We have our main character making direct eye contact
with the lens in order to draw the audience in as this was
a technique most posters used in my research.
Our poster follows the simplistic layout that Little White Lies employs. I believe it is very effective in keeping the focus on our character whilst conveying the stylised, quirky vibe or unique selling point of our film. The brick wall background, as well as looking good in the cartoon effect, anchors the urban mise en scene within the film.
It works well with our poster as we have used the same outfit and a similar urban setting to create an overall look. It strengthens the poster & trailer combination by providing the audience and potential fans with insight into the actors, characters, production, sets etc. through interviews and articles. Whilst the poster and trailer create excitement over the film and give information on release dates etc., the magazine entails extra information that gives the reader a more personal, insider link with the whole film process for example; the actor’s personalised view on the film and how they developed their character. This is a great way to hook the viewer in and make them feel a tie with the film and characters. Therefore the magazine should be released after the poster and trailer, once they have already raised awareness and interest. I think it should then be issued during the same week the film is released so no spoilers are given away and so people may be encouraged to go and see the film which, conveniently happens to be currently showing. This would tie in with other promotions such as t.v chat show appearances which will provide teasers before the release of the film.
As well as my main three products, I will also use other marketing avenues and platforms. One such tool may be events or gimmicks that link in with the film much the same as the recent remake of Carrie where a scene was recreated by setting up a coffee shop to react to an actresses “powers” and shock unsuspecting customers. This was filmed and went viral http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VlOxlSOr3_M
Or with the film Monsters, a handful of cinemas where the film was released was set up to mimic an “infected area” from the film with actors and props used to dress the venue.