Thursday, August 10, 2006

Snakes in the community

Two interesting marketing tidbits from Snakes on a Plane, as the movie draws ever closer to its long-awaited premiere next Friday. The first, of course, comes from Movie Marketing Madness. Cafepress has partnered with New Line to reach out to fan of SoaP to upload their own SoaP images so they can be added to t-shirts, mugs, whatever, creating their own merchandise that can be sold through CafePress. From their site:
Creating a unique program in the true ‘citizen’ spirit of Snakes on a Plane, New Line and CafePress have partnered to permit fans of the movie to become official licensees of Snakes on a Plane merchandise. This interactive promotion allows our network of over 2.5 million members to unleash their creativity to transform Snakes on a Plane artwork and ideas into unique gifts and share in the revenue stream. This completely unique approach to fan licensing, has never previously been embraced by any motion picture studio.

As Chris states, this is a great example of New Line empowering their community to help promote SoaP. Although the one question I have is, why wasn't this started a few weeks ago? Still, better late than never.

And again on MMM, Chris left a post detailing several other promotional tidbits involving SoaP. I left a comment asking if New Line was actively encouraging the 'dress-up parties' that were rumored to be taking place when the movie opens. Months ago, we learned that many of these parties, where viewers would come dressed in costume as characters from the movie would be taking place. I thought this was an excellent idea, and a great way to make going to the movie more of an event, and a wonderful way to build community buzz around the movie.

Apparently, New Line doesn't agree. Chris forwarded my comment to Alex at First Showing.Net. Alex's site has a great 'blueprint' detailing 'How to Throw Your Own Damn Snakes on a Plane Midnight Party!'. Alex contacted me and let me know that he's been in touch with New Line about helping him promote this idea, but that so far, New Line has been pretty cold to the idea, telling him that 'they can’t really help us out'.

That's really a shame, and I get that these 'midnight parties' aren't in line with a 'corporate' marketing plan, but what about SoaP has been? Wasn't that the point, that New Line was letting the community handle the marketing and promotion for this film? Why get cold feet at the altar and try to squelch the momentum that brought them to this point?

Extra: Jack says as the premiere draws closer, that the promotion for the movie seems to be taking on a more 'conventional' feel, and he fears that buzz in the blogosphere is slipping.

Pic via Flickr user Ted Drake



The Caf├ępress venture sounds more like it, in terms of getting fans—thank you for letting us know about that, Mack.
   Google hits are at 11,200,000, which is still amazing—but when searching for “Snakes on a Plane” blog, this comes to over 2 million. If initial coverage of SOAP was on the blogs (and almost exclusively so), then 2 million is actually not a lot, given that we had seen this total before. (This is totally unscientific and as I type I can see plenty of holes in the estimating.)

Mack Collier said...

Interesting perspective Jack. I've noticed in the past few days I've gotten more Google referrals from SoaP searches, but they usually involved searches for the guys that created the YouTube trailer, or Snakes on a Blog.

Will be interesting to see if bloggers ratchet up their coverage of the movie next week. I plan to do my part ;)