EDIT: In the first paragraph, I narrowed down my topics of discussion to just the three primary ones that have the most to do with film-industry marketing. The primary theories I will talk about will deal with persuasion. The other two topics are from research papers, websites, and articles I found that discuss those things, but are not necessarily theories.
How Interactive Media is Changing Marketing in the Film Industry
My investigation will look briefly into the history of traditional movie marketing, for example posters, television commercials, trailers, etc. It will then move into the modern era of movie marketing, which uses the Internet, smart phones, and other interactive mediums in many ways to sell film-goers on buying tickets. Specifically, I will study viral marketing, i-Phone applications, licensed video games, and both augmented and alternate reality games. I will look at all these marketing methods for their pros and cons, as well as cite professional opinions and studies on the subject at hand and on movie audiences in general. I will also talk briefly about digital distribution such as Netflix and On-Demand, but only in how they affect marketing of movies in the cinema. To study all these things further, I will discuss theories of persuasion, studies of audience’s conceptions, and some topics about advertising/promotion. Furthermore, I will discuss an idea I have for an alternate reality game that will be designed to persuade people to go to the cinema rather than watch movies at home.
My research will be done on scholarly articles, some non-scholarly articles and Websites, research studies, existing interactive marketing avenues, and my own survey(s). The scholarly articles I have chosen and will ultimately choose cover a number of topics, such as: communication theories, the changing nature of film audiences, research results that have shown the habits of audiences in the past and of today, and the computer as a medium. The non-scholarly articles are from Websites that talk about things like Twitter, suggestions for online movie marketing, movie tie-ins, licensed video games, Near Field Communication tags, and alternate-reality games. The research studies mainly talk about audience behavior. For the existing interactive marketing venues, I will spend some time talking about good and bad examples of current marketing strategies that studios currently employ.
The survey I know I want to do will be related to my alternate-reality game. Without going into too much detail, my game (currently titled “Movie Tracker”) will be a Website that will serve two purposes initially: 1. to serve as a place for people to keep track of movies they see; and, 2. to give users points for performing different acts as related to their movie watching. They will get more points, for example, for going to the cinema versus watching a movie at home. The hope from this game is that players will go the actual cinema more often, but also that they will watch more (and varied) movies in general. The cinema is a social experience that, in my opinion, should be shared more by all. Going back to the survey related to this game, I should like to sample movie goers from different age groups, asking them questions that will better enable me to plan out my system of awarding points. I may also seek their general opinions about their likelihood of using a Website like this. The ultimate goal of this Website/ARG, and this paper in general, is a lofty one: to get more people to go to movies than ever before.