The 1970s are considered to be the decade in which Hollywood rebranded itself after the collapse of the studio system of the 1960s. Independent filmmakers (at the time) such as Scorsese, Lucas and Spielberg all got their breaks in the 1970s creating such iconic movies as Jaws, Star Wars, Raging Bull, The Godfather, Raiders, ET and Chinatown.
It was also a period (no pun intended) when some of the scariest horror movies such as The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, The Exorcist (in my opinion the scariest film ever), The Shining and Carrie which was possibly the forerunner of the teen horror flick, were released.
But for every successful blockbuster, I think that something like 7 fail. And those failures can be really, really expensive. John Carter, released in 2012 is rumoured to have lost RM250 million (US$90 million), despite a RM330 (US$100 million) million marketing campaign.
So in an attempt to reduce failures and to squeeze more money out of a successful franchise, Hollywood likes to remake films. The latest of which is Carrie. I saw Carrie when I was 14. I wish I hadn’t. Carrie is an outsider, her mother is a religious nut and all of her classmates hate her. But Carrie has special powers. Telekinesis powers which means that she can mess with your mind, especially when you piss her off. Add in her first period, pigs blood, a prom, nasty girls etc. You can imagine the rest.
But the movie still has to be sold. And selling a movie is not easy. Especially as international audiences are often the difference between a success and failure – John Carter only took US$80 million in the States, over US$100 million came from Asia. So they decided to come up with a digital marketing campaign whereby they would lay the foundations with a video and then encourage consumers to do the rest.
So far the video has received almost 10 million views in 2 days. The cost? Maybe RM320,000 (US$100,000). Sure a viral campaign is nothing new but it shows that marketing departments need to open their eyes to the social economy and in some sectors, there actually may be one size fits all solutions.