PR, Films and Fantasies

Posts Tagged ‘marketing

The fact that I stop writing on the blog doesn’t really mean I stopped writing, just that my focus lies somewhere else for the moment. That other place is Chesamel Communications‘ website, the insights section, where I get to share all kinds of news about the world of mar-com or the fabulous people I get to meet weekly in the amazing London Town.

If you want to check out Donald Trump’s top tips for succeeding in business, my top trends to use in mobile marketing for small businesses or the winners of this year’s Screen Awards (the marketing and distribution awards for the film industry), do log in and have a read. I’d really appreciate some feedback as well. Also, if there’s something you think I should write about, just drop me a line!

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In one of my latest papers for the MA program I am on this year I looked at the connections between concepts of the experience economy and of the creative city.

As (surprisingly!!!!) the paper was very, very, very well received, I thought about sharing it as it might help other students (and ok… maybe other researchers too:)). Here is the introduction and following the link you can read the whole thing: essay.

“They will forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel.” 

The economy and the city

The connection between the development of urban areas and the different stages of the local, regional or global economy has been constantly debated throughout they years (Scott, 2006; Jacobs, 1969; Kong and Conor, 2009). There is no doubt that the evolution of cities and that of the dynamics of economic production, labour and consumption can be overlapped during different periods of history, however, stating that one has led to the birth of the other can prove to be a very challenging argument. Jane Jacobs (1969) claimed that historically, cities have been the origin and engine of innovation and economic growth, on the other hand, Scott (2006:2) suggests that “the shifting fortunes of each individual urban area” depends highly on the shift in economic models and behaviours. To answer the question “which was first?” is impossible as “new ideas and new fields of economy are invented in cities” (Kong and Connor, 2009:208) but also, cities have been created and expanded due to the needs and demands of the economy different ages.

Combining the models of Toffler (1980) and Bell (1973), the world economy can be divided into a first, agrarian wave, based on agricultural practices, a second wave of mass produced goods and automised machines, followed by a post-industrial, third wave, focused mainly on the provision of services. Over the past 20 years, as new technologies have shown their power and due to significant changes in the financial capital and the amount of leisure time, concepts like the “knowledge economy” (in which the main currency is information; Bell, 1973), “the experience economy” (based on the value added by experiences to the consumption process; Pine and Gilmore, 1999) and the highly praised “creative economy” (in which creativity is the main factor of differentiation between products, companies or places; Pratt, 2008) have also been circulating. They could either be placed in the last, post-industrial wave or most likely, considered to have created a Forth Wave of their own in which they co-exist and overlap.

During each stage, cities have been the main arenas for the interaction between producers, consumers and all the other entities connected to the transactional processes. In Antiquity and Medieval times, they were the world’s communication knots and therefore its main markets, growing steadily to accommodate a variety of trades that answered the needs of those passing through (Hall, 2000). The nineteenth-century capitalism gave birth to the classical factory town, followed by the rise of the fordist mass production “associated with the growth and spread of the large industrial metropolis” (Scott, 2006:3). As “traditional manufacturing activities declined in the developed world” (Pratt, 2008:5) new styles of urbanisation have developed to create the perfect conditions in which new economies could flourish and to cater for a new work force.

The very popular concept of “creative city” (Landry, 2000) could be the perfect urban model associated with the development of knowledge, experience and creativity all together because it brings “the dimensions of economy, culture, and place back into a practical and humanly reasonable harmony” (Scott, 2006:15). As creativity and information are the base for the creative city (Cooke, 2008), this paper will focus on examining the extent to which “experiences” and other concepts associated with Pine and Gilmore’s (1999) description of the experience economy, are part of, or resources for, this type of urban environment.

This week I was invited to Communicate Magazine’s  half day Transform Conference, followed by the glamorous 2012 Transform Awards. Basically, “transform” stands in for “rebrand” as both the conference and the awards are Europe’s only programs that focus on the process of changing brand identities.

The brand is central to the intangible value assigned to companies by their stakeholders. No company can sit still – the process of examining and re-examining a brand in terms of its relevance to those stakeholders should be ongoing.

The Transform conference is not just there for those about to embark on a thorough rebrand, but for everyone concerned with their brand’s relevance to the changing marketplace and to their stakeholders – whether it’s their investors, employees, the media or others.

I would go through what happened on the day and what were the points that each of the speakers followed, but I think it would be more helpful if you had a look at the live blog from the conference. It is probably more in depth and more accurate than what I can remember and it also includes the presentations from each of the sections, which I am sure you will find very helpful.

Also, have a quick Twitter Search for the #transform12and you will find some incredible tweets with information, opinions and critique. The hashtag also includes all the tweets from the awards ceremony with all the GOLD winners and the Grand Prix for excellence in rebranding and brand transformation: Pearson (Interbrand). Here you can find a video of the strategy and idead behind the multiple award winning rebrand.

The list with all the other award winners can be found on Communicate Magazine’s website. I am actually quite proud as in the Best creative strategy category the GOLD went to Larix by Romanian branding consultancy BrandTailors.  Read more about the campaign here. 

One of the highest levels of creativity in PR is definitely reached when putting together amazing stunts. Long ago their aim was obviously to grab the attention of the media, but with the internet (and Youtube, doh!) more and more are being planned so as to assure they go viral. I already dedicated a few posts to brilliant stunts I found online (here and here), but as I was watching the already famous Carlsberg Bikers cinema stunt I found this video:

Top 10 PR stunts in 2009 by trendhunter.com

Don’t judge, but my favourite was Paris Hilton’s 🙂

For those of you who don’t know, I’ve been working on my dissertation for a few months now (going slowly but surely). Overall, it covers film promotion within today’s promotional culture when we get stuck in a vortex of publicity and at a point, loose track of what is marketing pushed material and true media content.

My case study will be Sex and the City 2 and no, I did not chose it because I’m a fan of the franchise (although I don’t hate it with a passion either) but because despite the fact that the film was a review disaster, it did make the over 100mil BO and billions still went to watch it. I am really curios how bad press mingled with articles on the S&C lifestyle and the “Carrie On” pages as on the one hand the media destroyed it, but on the other it promoted every single usp the marketeers emphasised.

Anyway, for now, I just wanted to present a few really good books on Film Marketing and Promotion that I found in my research. I think they are quite helpful for anyone in the industry or aspiring to be part of it. Let’s start with the classics:

Justin Wyatt – High Concept: Movies and Marketing in Hollywood – 1994 It covers promotional techniques for movies in the “high concept” category which are the crowd pleasers. They go beyond blockbusters in following rules of BO and Wyatt covers many case studies of such productions where marketing starts from the first page of the script (Top Gun, Baby Boom, Basic Instinct and so on…)

Tiiu Lukk – Movie Marketing: Opening the Picture and Giving it Wings – 1997 – One of my favorites as it really helped me in my own research. It follows the promotional campaigns of different genres and styles from the romantic comedies (4 weddings and a funeral) to the independent films (Pulp Fiction), action, documentaries and so on. I really wish I could find something similar from our decade. (this website tries to present case studies, but it doesn’t analyse them so in depth: http://www.moviemarketingmadness.com/blog/ check it out!)

Thomas Austin – Hollywood, hype and audiences: Selling and watching popular film in the 1990s – 2002 – again this is key for my own research as it combines the sold image of the films (which appeared in the media reviews and through advertising) with the audience response and reactions. Basically it analyses how the promotion influences the viewer’s expectations and to what extent this changes the messages he/she receives from the production. Again Basic Instinct is among the case studies, as well as Dracula and Natural Born Killers.

Janet Wasko – Hollywood in the Information Age – 1994 – even if this doesn’t cover film marketing to the point, it helps the reader understand the background of the big studios and how the function in order to relate that to the way the movie are being produced and sold. This goes hand in hand with:

Janet Wasko – How Hollywood Works – 2003

And now, for the pure film marketing ones:

Robert Marich – Markting to moviegoers: A handbook of strategies and tactics – 2009 – up to date marketing toolkit for the film industry.

Finola Kerrigan – Film Marketing – 2010 – great read which combines the business approach with the cultural theory. I think it’s quite a bible for the field

Angus Finney – The International Film Business: A Market Guide Beyond Hollywood – 2010 – Goes away from Hollywood recipes and looks at how the industry works in other countries and within the independent sector.

Hope this list will help others so please feel free to ask me any questions about the titles or maybe others. Also, I would be really grateful if  you could suggest more that I could use in my research and add to this list!

Film marketers and scholars out there, I salute you!


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