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  • 23 May 2017

    Movie “Magic”

    Global box office revenue for the film industry is projected to increase from $38.3 billion in 2016 to nearly $50 billion in 2020, so it’s fair to say it is pretty big business. Interestingly, only very few Hollywood movies actually make a profit, as these days, the costs for producing films is huge.

    Sherry Lansing, the first female studio executive and former CEO of paramount pictures was recently quoted as saying “Today you make a movie and even if it’s great, you have to be able to sell it. Word of mouth doesn’t carry it anymore.” This is why these days the next big film is virtually inescapable.

    No escape

    Meet Joe. He’s not into film and has a busy job and a family. One day at breakfast the kids are babbling excitedly about “groot”, whatever the hell that is. According to the cereal packet it is some sort of tree? Crazy kids. Joe’s breakfast TV programme is interrupted by an ad with lots of colours and explosions, so he switches over. Some special effects guy harping on about how they made the spaceships fly. Good god. TV off , Joe browses the paper. Giant ads everywhere, all spacey stuff. Christ.

    Driving through traffic, Joe sees a bus driving past with an ad with funny colourful people and some sort of space badger with a gun. Moments later, he whizzes past a poster on a bus stop. He went past too quickly to take it all in, but it has the same people on it. It was about defending the universe or something.

    At work he can escape, or can he? Joe goes onto a website and there is that weird badger thing again, popping up on banners all over the screen on virtually any site he goes. Joe pops over for lunch to his favourite restaurant chain and there is no escape there either; the cans of fizz have that damn badger on again, and those colourful people are all over the menu. It just doesn’t stop.

    So when Joe finally gets back home, the family want to go to the cinema. Ok, he says, what are we going to watch? Well, Guardians of the Galaxy of course!

    Mix it up

    The above story outlines just how effective movie marketeers are in deploying the marketing mix; i.e. using multiple channels to drive up the number of touch points with the audience. Few other industries deploy a range of activities as effectively. The below table shows a typical allocation of the marketing budget for a film by channel:

    TV Advertising


    Radio / magazine / billboard advertising


    Promotion activities


    Newspaper Advertising


    Internet advertising


    Theatrical trailers


    The way movie marketeers go about ensuring that they reach their target audience is highly impressive. The scale they do it makes it extremely expensive, but are there other channels out there that you should be making use of?