FireflySerenity and Social Marketing
Tuesday 27 September 2005, by Webmaster
Serenity comes out this Friday, September 30th. I saw it earlier this summer. Go see it, it’s a great movie. Funny, frightening, tragic, hilarious and wise - it’s the movie grown-up Star Wars fans have been waiting to see. (I know because I’m one of them.) I will be there with family and friends on opening night.
The movie’s marketing has been pretty good too. Earlier this summer, Universal held screenings for fans of the TV show Firefly - upon which the movie is based - screenings which sold out in minutes. See my earlier post here.
And then last week, via a friend and then Instapundit, I heard about the Serenity Blogger Bonanza. Bloggers were invited to free screenings across the country - 56 of them - and all you had to do was write something about the movie good or bad. It sounded like a good deal to me - since I was going to blog about the movie this week anyway. So I signed up. Good thing I did, because they were full in a matter of hours.
Then I got an email from Grace Hill Media which said:
Congratulations! You are one of the lucky bloggers to be chosen and confirmed for the screening of SERENITY for the time, date and the number of guests that you have requested. Please note, this confirmation DOES NOT guarantee you a seat at the screening.
Say what? I’m confirmed but I’m not confirmed? Then I read:
To significantly increase your chances of getting into the screening, you MUST do the following: You MUST include the film’s synopsis on your blog (synopsis below) and you MUST link your blog to the SERENITY website (which has the trailer and production notes) http://www.serenitymovie.com and featured artwork. After you have screened the film, please discuss it on your blog. Please provide us the links to all of your blog posts on SERENITY to firstname.lastname@example.org
So there is a price for the tickets after all. Now I admit, I hate when people tell me I must do something. I hate it.
I give them kudos for including bloggers in their viral efforts. But they don’t get this kind of social marketing - bloggers who sign up for tickets are already interested in the movie - they don’t need to be pushed. And to force bloggers to put up the synopsis as a pre-requisite of attending the film, Serenity’s marketers show they’re still in the business of controlling the message. And if bloggers are anything, they’re folks who thinks no one really controls the message - in fact, it’s not a message at all, it’s a conversation.
For instance, Hugh over at gapingvoid says that in his Stormhoek wine freebie efforts for bloggers - they don’t have to blog anything if they don’t want to.
So I’m not going to put the synopsis on this page and I’ll skip the free screening. If you want to read the synopsis and another viewpoint - go here. But I will be there on Friday night with lots of other fans. Because, regardless of the marketers, the movie is great.