Friday, August 20, 2010

Selling a Movie and Brand Loyalty

Most cinema tickets are one-off purchases. You don't buy a cinema ticket in the same way as you might buy a particular brand of soft drink, knowing that you will go back to this brand again and again and again (ie you have brand loyalty). You base your decision to buy a ticket on the basis of the marketing you have seen for an individual movie. You might be quite loyal to that brand while it lasts (you might buy a t-shirt, a soundtrack CD and the DVD when itÕs released), but in most cases, it's a short-lived loyalty. And that's a loyalty that is very expensive to purchase. With each new movie release, a studio has to create a new brand. This is why they like sequels and franchises so much — a string of movies all based around the same brand are easy to market as audiences have already had a taste of them.
The Star Wars movies are perhaps the most successful example of this, with consumers demonstrating rabid brand loyalty, and the brand being associated with a whole range of merchandising, from pillowcases to happy meals. Although many fans of the first three movies had major “issues” with The Phantom Menace, they all felt compelled to see Attack of The Clones, and no matter how many “issues” they had with AOTC, they will still all go and see whatever the third one is going to be called. They are loyal to the brand, and the marketing of the movie reflects that.
Stars may also be considered brands, particularly if they are associated with only one type of movie. Audiences feel comfortable going to see a movie starring, say, The Rock, because they know that they are going to get a specific sort of action movie (lots of pro-wrestling moves, not much talking). However, stars as brands go stale after a while, as audiences tire of actors doing the same thing over and over again (think of how Meg Ryan's career has faltered of late). People may be fans of an individual actor, and will go to see a movie because he or she is in it, but actors do not like to be restricted in their choice of scripts, otherwise they will quickly become typecast. Just consider the variety of movies that Tom Cruise or Johnny Depp has done in the past couple of years. Therefore the marketing of a movie is all about creating instant brand identity. A movie's brand is established by signalling to consumers what it is like (another movie maybe) and where it has come from.

No comments:

Post a Comment