Tuesday, April 25, 2006

New Line's brilliant move? Realizing the community is smarter than they are.

"I've never seen anything like this -- where people actually have a vested interest in going to see this film. People are talking about dressing up in pilots' uniforms and flight attendant uniforms. There are the crazy people who will probably show up in plane outfits. It's moved beyond being a movie into 'How can we make a party out of this?' Who doesn't like a good party?"," - Stephanie Wasek, founder of the Snakes on a Plane community on LiveJournal.com

Perhaps we can't fully appreciate it right now, but 2006 could end up being a watershed moment for marketing. In the last year, community-generated content, and the blogosphere have exploded in unison. Want to make fun of a product? Make a spoof commercial and upload to YouTube. Then blog about the creation process. Think you can do better than the talking heads on the radio? Make your own podcast. Are you a musician? Make a MySpace page and share your songs with the world.

So as we are just discovering the beauty that is CGC, it seems as if it were fate that a movie like Snakes on a Plane would come along. A B-movie with a title so absurdly honest that you have to make fun of it. For a community that is just learning the joys of CGC, SoaP gave us the perfect chance to spread our wings. Go crazy.....make posters for the film, songs, trailers, t-shirts, hell let's even make blogs about it.

But there's still the matter of the studio, New Line. If history shows that SoaP was the right movie at the right time, then history will also show that New Line made the perfect move in EMBRACING the community. They didn't squash community-created blogs, or YouTube videos, or any other CGC. Basically New Line told the community 'You know what, this IS a stupid movie...here's your chance to go crazy, have at it!'.

Kids. In. A. Candystore. And New Line unlocked the doors and held them open for us. Hell they even went back and re-shot scenes to incorporate dialog from the trailer for the movie created by Chris Rohan and Nathaniel Perry.

And that's the key. When Snakes on a Plane opens, the viewers aren't going to see a movie, they are going to watch a product that they helped create.



I hope New Line will go even further, Mack, providing us with more downloadable images, including high-resolution ones, for those of us crazy enough to do print ads, posters and the like. And another teaser needs to come out soon …

Mack Collier said...

Also, why not make the soundtrack for SoaP consist completely of songs created by bloggers? This would surely be cheaper than paying 'established' artists, and the exposure for this move would only fan the flames for SoaP in the blogosphere. For the DVD release, they could make it a double-DVD with the second DVD featuring trailers and other promotional material created by internet users.

There's really so many possibilities when you reach out to the community like New Line has here. The sad thing is that many companies won't even notice what New Line is doing here, until/unless it translates into success at the box office.

The smart marketers have been taking notes from the get-go.