I’ve seen a few of these movie promotion ads on Facebook now, and I’m pretty much astounded at how big of a waste of money they are. The problem with an ad like this is the fact that there are only two ways I can interact with it: I can either become a fan of “From Paris with Love” or I can blacklist the ad for any number of reasons. I don’t want to blacklist it, because I actually prefer seeing movie ads about 100x more than seeing ads for “Scholarships for Dads” or “Christian Singles” or GroupOn…
The problem is–they’re not even asking the right question. Am I going to go see it in theaters? Sure. I loved Taken, and while I’m skeptical of Travolta’s ability to play a fast-and-loose action hero, I have tremendous faith in Luc Besson as a writer/producer of fun action movies. Solidly on board, solidly planning to go see the movie they’re promoting, there’s still no way I’m ever going to become a fan of From Paris with Love on Facebook. Or–likely–any other movie on Facebook. For one thing–whether I become a fan or not has nothing to do with whether my friends go see the movie. If they haven’t decided one way or another on it by this point, my becoming a fan is going to amount to a drop in the ocean. Secondly, I have no interest in helping some viral marketing firm (“We get u lots ov fans!!!11!”) get a higher bonus because they hit some fan threshold. The obvious disconnect between the people who actually make the movies and the people who promote them just astounds me. What kind of ads do I want to see? Here are 7 ads I would’ve clicked on:
- Ask me if I’m planning on seeing the movie in theaters. If I click “no,” you can tailor future ads towards your stronger “change someone’s mind” content instead of showing me the same thing over and over and over again. If I click “yes,” you can start showing more interesting ads that might eventually get me to become a fan. (To be fair, I’ve seen polls on movies–but they’re usually some asinine unrelated question written by a marketing intern).
- Don’t promote the movie itself–promote the people within the movie. Had this ad said something like “Become a fan of Luc Besson,” I probably would’ve clicked it in a heartbeat. I don’t even know if he has a fan page, but (assuming he does) that gets any of his future marketing material right into my stream. Becoming a fan of an actual person says something to my friends, while becoming a fan of some movie that just came out says I’m gullible and pay too much attention to ads.
- Build a Flash game for the film (and hire an indie flash developer to do it–there are lots of us) and promote the From Paris with Love game.
- Link to an interesting article on the Film (Digg does a great job of this)–a behind the scenes article or an interview with John Travolta. Something more engaging than “please please pay attention to me.”
- Instead of a canned one-sentence synopsis, just put in a bite-sized piece of trivia with a “like” button. We call them “nuggets” on ShowtimeFu, though we’re a little behind in entering them. A “like” is much less of an investment than fanning something, and I’m much more likely to use them.
- Give me a link to add a similar movie to my queue on Netflix. “Get ready for From Paris with Love by watching Taken”
- Now that I’m 5 or 6 steps down the funnel and I’ve had plenty of positive interactions with your campaign… now is the time to ask me to become a fan of the movie. Don’t just give me marketing drivel, though–remind me of how into the movie I am: “You’re going to see it in theaters, you’ve played the game, you’ve read the trivia, and you’re already a fan of the cast. Isn’t it time to become a fan of the film?”
Okay, I still may not click on #7, but my chances of responding are probably up around 50% instead of 0%, which is a bajillion-times increase. Funnels are used for all kinds of things on websites, so I don’t see why people don’t set up ad funnels to guide people towards the desired result.