And the Oscar goes to...
By Tuhin Ghosh
La La Land.
Oops ...hold on.
Poor Warren Beatty. He looked embarrassed. Jimmy Kimmel, the host acted like being embarrassed. (let's see whether he makes it to the Oscar 2018 as a host; I think he did a great job). PWC bearers at the backstage must have been thinking about pink slips.
Or it may be staged in line with promoting diversity and inclusion, the theme of the awards night. (An article written 1 year back
has a hint of this) A typical Hollywood style theatrical end. We may never know whether it was staged or was a blooper. But was worth the 5 hours of my time on a Monday morning, waking up early to watch from the Red Carpet to the actual ceremony. (A ritual I am used to for the last 2 decades)
We see many movies using social media effectively to promote their films. Some of them may not have made it (or made it in a small way) in the Oscars 2017. They are ‘The Others’.
The most notable amongst ‘the others’ were Dead Pool and Jungle Book.
The video of Dead Pool celebrating Halloween with kids in real world went viral. And there were other such campaigns (to promote this movie) which made it possible for an R rated movie to gross around 800 million dollars.
In case of Jungle Book they had to satisfy the die-hard fans (the original was done in 70s) that it is not just a reboot. As well as expanding its audience in the modern age. They did it pretty well
through social media and other promotional channels.
Let’s come back to the Oscar 2017 highlights.
In the main ceremony they covered a good deal in social media. Right from taking on Trump's Twitter to the trolls on celebrities’ Twitter account. On trolls, how I wish most of us can show maturity in responding to them as shown by few of the stars (in case you are interested to know about dealing with trolls , here is my take on this subject
Now let's look at La La Land, the most talked about film of the year. They have created a good social connect around a classic theme and that too a musical.
Here a few things they did beautifully using the new age media.
Drip marketing : (borrowing from email marketing terminology). They had a definite plan when they released the teasers, the 1st just hinting it being a musical and revealing as less as possible. And then the second trailer with one of the protagonist singing about 'the mess' they have made (in the movie). And finally the "official trailer" starting with the failed audition of a struggling actor. As we say, that's how you create a hook and connect with your audience in digital media.
Use of earned media: And then you have some interesting piece of 'earned media' like where Damien Chazelle , the youngest director to win Oscar (without any goof up, thankfully) justifies the need of a musical in this era . In his own words "No one breaks into song unless it’s emotionally justified in some way. But once you allow yourself that possibility, then you have a responsibility to go all the way.”
Thematic contents: And they tapped into nostalgia. And that connected with modernism. As one of the critics said that it is not a classic film shot in modern times. But a modern film shot in classic theme. (Or something like that). Look at how they used Facebook and other social media to promote the yesteryears memorabilia like vinyl records, autographed by Justin Hurwitz (the composer).
Creating Social buzz : La La Land won this hands down. Way ahead of Fences and Lion. All the above efforts and more of such social promotion strategies were instrumental to conversation it generated in social media. As per thedrums.com it created the highest social buzz leading to the Oscars
There is also lot to learn from their campaigns which largely got amplified in social media where lot of people "recommended" the movie , not just "liked".
And there are many such examples.
That's social media and Hollywood for you. You will see many more such interesting movie promotions in social media in the coming days. Hopefully from Bollywood and other Indian regions as well.
Have you have followed any film promotion in social media? Would like to know your views. Just write in.