Posts Tagged movies

7 Movie Ads I Want to See on Facebook

ad for From Paris With Love

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:

  1. 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).
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.”
  5. Instead of a canned one-sentence synopsis, just put in a bite-sized piece of trivia with a “like” button. We call them “nuggets” onĀ 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.
  6. Give me a link to add a similar movie to my queue on Netflix. “Get ready for From Paris with Love by watching Taken”
  7. 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.

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Hero Fatigue

(Image lost in the Great Update of 2009)

I finally finished playing Mass Effect a few days ago, and it was everything I expected it to be. Pretty graphics, great dialogue, good characters, fun fight system… all in all, a fantastic game. The one criticism I have of the game isn’t so much about Mass Effect as it is about the state of games in general.
I’m tired of being the epic hero.

Sure you can play the bad guy if you choose the “mean” dialogue options, but whether you’re good or bad, you’re still the epic figure in charge of saving the universe. Really then, my issue is with the “epic” part and not the “hero” part. I get it. Games now cost hundreds of millions of dollars to produce, so anything less than an epic experience seems like too little bang for your buck.

I blame Bioware for being too good at what they do. The dialogue system, the backstory, the universe itself is just too good to only be capable of telling one type of story. The sad thing is that’s all we’re likely to get out of them (until an equally epic sequel hits, that is). I thoroughly enjoyed playing the Star Wars-esque space opera the whole way through, but I couldn’t help but wonder how much more amazing it would be to play a Maltese Falcon or a Seven Samurai or a Die Hard or a Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (I’m talking story structures, here, not direct adaptation) style game using this same engine.

The engine is already built, so they might as well squeeze as much out of it as possible. Instead of one single epic that takes 30-40 hours to complete, why not build a half-dozen or so 2-5 hour long stories using the same engine and slightly more human storylines? You could call it Mass Effect Tales or something evocative of a short story collection. By doing so, they would bring us one step closer to legitimizing games as a storytelling medium–and for a fraction of the cost!

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Napa, Thanksgiving, and a New Theme

Not much activity in the last couple of weeks, so I thought I’d do a little update post. I made another game. I’d say it’s around 95% done (just need to do a bit of visual polish and grab some sound effects), but I’ll save that one for a post of its own once I get some sponsors ironed out (or publish without). A friend was in town a couple of weekends ago, so my roommate, her, and I all headed up to Napa Valley. Two of my friends had birthdays on Monday, so I thought some decent wine would be a good gift. Read the rest of this entry »

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Paprika

Way back in high school, I ordered a DVD called Perfect Blue from a flier somewhere (I think I was a member of the “SciFi Bookclub” or something at the time). I’d never heard of it before, but it reviewed as a Hitchcock-esque anime with overtones of Philip K. Dick. I didn’t much care for Hitchcock back then and I was just getting into Philip K. Dick, so really what I was hoping for was anime boobies. Oh high school. Read the rest of this entry »

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