If you haven’t already heard or seen the adverts, maybe on the big screen or more recently on the box at home, I have been following the launch campaign of the new film due out on the 1st June 2012.
Although the release date in now very close, the traditional channels or marketing a film have not been massively pushed by this films launch team. With the majority of advertisements only just hitting the mainstream channels (TV, Magazines, Cinema) now.
Having had this film on my radar since I first heard about the chance of a follow-up to the Alien series, my main focus has been on the social media focus that this film has used to initially launch and drip feed teaser content.
The main focus of this campaign has been centred around a Facebook page, which is beneficial with the new timeline functionality as key elements and posts can be mile stoned and given prominence. The majority of content in the last quarter of 2011 was sparse and designed to start users thinking, discussing and engaging. By simply getting users to ‘Like’ the page, this allowed the social media feed to keep fans in touch with all movements. This subtle start began building likes, which would reach 100,000+ before the real campaign ramp up began which are now sitting at well over 200,000. Now just imagine that each one of those 200,000 has 10 people that they might pass on a Prometheus recommendation to outside of social media, you don’t need to be clever to do the math on the impact.
Quarter one of 2012 saw an increase in social media activity as the word began to go viral about the initial teaser videos and feed content which were popular and spread quickly. To add further depth to the campaign an official twitter feed (@PrometheusMovie) was linked to the Facebook page giving reach to Twitterites and enabling targeted hash tag trends. This channel was not as popular with the official feed receiving only 14,000+ follows which is still impressive but dwarfed by the Facebook influence (This is likely to be due to the visual support, which is instantly accessible in Facebook but gets lost in 140 characters), however, have a search check out the non-official feeds all of which head in the same direction, sometimes copy cats can pay off..
Tying the social elements together required creating a campaign landing platform to channel traffic that can be analytically tracked which requires investment in time and energy but is definitely worth it. This platform was well design and linked directly into Facebook via a Facebook application that was built to feed people into the microsite (www.weylandindustries.com), signups to the site would gain extra access to inaccessible areas, however, free content was still available to the casual surfer. Content on the site gives behind the scenes information on this corporation, which is central throughout the Alien series and this film.
In the last two months leading up to eminent launch date; engagement has increased massively between fans and the people behind the film with more and more content from behind the scenes being opened up for review and debate. Fan art has been pouring in from the community who have been engaged by the campaign and its constant activity from the films launch team. If you haven’t already seen the TED Talks video of Peter Weyland (played by Guy Pearce) talking at a future style TED Talks event, check it out. This video was supported by the TED website and social media channels, a well respected business community, further supporting the campaign authenticity and reach. More recent developments have included live feed discussions with Prometheus writer Damon Lindelof on the Prometheus twitter feed as well as the new Project Prometheus section of the microsite which is signed up and connected to the users social media channels. Project Prometheus is a training application simulation, an amazing piece of interactive, engaging social gaming which will help sustain the buzz well after the films initial launch.
In my opinion this campaign has been successful in creating a real buzz around the film, which im sure helped lead to its initial launch date of April being pushed back to a prime time summer slot alongside the Dark Knight Rises both of which are now tipped as the hot films for the year.
This campaign has demonstrated a visible shift in the effective use of social media for mainstream product launches, in Prometheus’s case, a well orchestrated and implemented social media product launch.
Key points to note:
- Social campaign launched around Facebook using new timeline to emphasise key content
- YouTube and Facebook video linked for initial teaser videos
- Twitter feed introduced to reach additional users and target trends
- Microsite launched (www.weylandindustries.com)
- Facebook app linking signups directly into exclusive content
- Content and engagement ramp up 2 months before launch
- Posting of user generated content onto Facebook page and Twitter feed
- Live Twitter sessions with Prometheus writer Damon Lindelof
- Addition of Project Prometheus to microsite a purpose built social gaming experience designed for the film
- Traditional marketing channels utilised just before launched