Social Media and Social Networking

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Social Media – A Big Hit with the Entertainment Industry in 2008

Posted by Vaibhav Kalamdani on January 6, 2009

Year 2008 brought gloomy days for businesses across the world with the great recession snatching away several jobs from people and shutting down operations of huge number of companies. One of the worst hit sectors was the financial sector, where even the topmost giants failed to stand tall on their feet. Companies saw tremendous cuts in traditional advertising expenses and diverting huge chunk into social media – the new form of marketing that has seen a paradigm shift in the way brands are promoted today. Certainly, one of the biggest buyers of the social media space has been the entertainment industry, which continued to swim against the mighty tides through creative and interactive approaches.

Social media certainly changed the rules of the game and marketers were forced to adopt it in their communication model to deliver their message. With the growth in viral marketing through social networks, entertainment industry couldn’t neglect the fact that their target audience spends most of the time online, especially on social networks and social media sites.

For the purpose of leveraging social media to market their movies and attracting large number of people, movie producers started investing in the creation of applications and contests to encourage participation. For example, Warner Home Video International and PPC Interactive, a part of The Picture Production Company introduced a social media microsite ‘my-darkknight.com’ to market the Blu-ray Disc and DVD release of the movie ‘The Dark Knight’. The site allows fans to choose any one of the main characters from the movie, and encourages them to express their allegiance towards it with the help of various customization tools.

Other movies which were promoted with the help of social media in 2008 were ‘Get Smart’, ‘Forgetting Sarah Marshall’, ‘The Day the Earth Stood Still’ to name a few.

A study by Nielsen NRG found that MySpace stood as the topmost Web portal for individuals in the age group 15 to 24 years, looking out for information about the latest movies. It stated that around 30 percent of consumers in this demographic first visited MySpace for movie searches, while online majors Google and Yahoo (23 percent each) trailed along with AOL (14 percent).

Not only Hollywood, but also the Indian movie industry, popularly known as ‘Bollywood’ turned to social media last year, the latest example being that of ‘Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi’ that was promoted heavily across ibibo, Facebook, and video-sharing portal YouTube. The clips of this movie received an astonishing half-a-million plus views on ibibo, with over 5000 viewers participating in the talent contest on its application.

The rate at which online ad spending is growing over the traditional forms of media is another factor that will boost social media in the coming few years. According to Nielsen Online, the Entertainment industry showed an impressive growth of 47 percent year-on-year in 2008 . Movie production firms are going digital and eyeing social media carefully to build up their movie brands and pull in larger crowd.

Year 2009 will bring newer challenges for the entertainment industry, which will try to maximize the benefits of social media through special contests, applications, animations, interactive communication and creative displays. Let’s wait and watch!

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