How Promotional Viral Videos Infect Movie Viewers

How Promotional Viral Videos Infect Movie Viewers

Updated Sep 10, 2012 at 3:21 PM EST

The film industry has the ability to adapt like no other, weaving social media and viral videos into marketing campaigns with ease and -- more importantly -- success by way of dollar signs.


Most of Hollywood's social media marketing is meant to promote new films, new trailers and create overall hype, but viral media can go beyond that. Paramount Studio used Facebook and Eventful to determine what specific cities had an interest in "Paranormal Activity." The horror flick had a budget of less than $15,000, yet it grossed more than $150 million in theaters because potential fans requested enough local screenings for it to be widely released.


Social media is viral in nature, and the added use of sites like YouTube and Reddit just means videos and clips infect more viewers.


"You can target interest, advertise new releases and start an Internet buzz to increase ticket sales. Disney, Pixar and Twentieth Century Fox have used viral video campaigns for 'Toy Story 3' and 'Rise of the Planet of the Apes.' The 'Ape With AK-47' YouTube video was a part of a promotional series for the new film featuring 'real apes.' It got over 20 million views! Now talk about starting an online conversation," says Peter Hoffman, CEO of Seven Arts Entertainment, another studio highlighting its latest release on Facebook.


Actresses Sheena Lee and Simona Fusco, from the hit-comedy, "The Pool Boys," turned-up the heat on Facebook when they did an online Q&A session just before Valentine's Day. Fans got to ask questions and the ladies answered in real-time and invited their fans to join in the conversation.


The chat session is in advance of the upcoming release of "The Pool Boys" on HBO this spring. The actresses created their own YouTube video clips of them hanging by their pool and on the way to the gym, and had so much fun. In fact, lucky winners who joined the chat and answered trivia questions about "The Pool Boys" won autographed DVDs of the movie, courtesy of Seven Arts Entertainment, Entertainment One, and RGM. Look for the video clips on www.youtube.com/7artspictures and learn more about the movie at www.thepoolboysmovie.com.


"The Pool Boys" is available on Blu-Ray and DVD. To see examples of viral videos in two separate marketing efforts, check out YouTube's "Lots-o'-Huggin' Bear Commercial (circa 1983)" or "Ape With AK-47."


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