Promotion of new movies is an enormous business, with the marketing budget for new films set at at least 50% of the production budget. Promotion begins before the new movie is released, and peaks early on in its release.
There are numerous tactics used to market new films, most significantly trailers in cinemas, which expertly target an audience who are, by definition, fans of new movies. Television commercials are also popular for reaching a very large number of viewers simultaneously.
Primetime television interviews of movie stars are commonly used to promote new films. This technique utilises the appeal of an individual actor to attract their existing fans who, by the end of the interview, should be enthused and keen to see the film. Often these interviews even feature a short preview of the upcoming movie to wake the spectators’ intrerest.
Promotion of new movies in print remains a popular marketing strategy, with large posters, and full- and half-page advertisements appearing in magazines and newspapers. There are even cross-promotions with books, if the movie is based on a novel. Similarly, merchandising new movies and connecting them with certain drinks, special offers or products is a technique for marketing new movies which is growing in popularity, arguably as a money-saving method in these tough economic times.
The role of social media in promoting new movies is growing rapidly. The ever-increasing popularity of sites such as facebook and twitter, along with their relative cost-effectiveness compared to big budget promos, make Hollywood studios increasingly turn to these websites to create ‘viral’ marketing for their upcoming new films.
Because the promotion of new films comes from multiple sources, it is difficult to assess the effectiveness of one or more of these techniques in isolation. However, it is clear that when marketing of new movies creates a stir, this will attract new viewers to the release.
Market research testing of the trailers of new films can be a good indicator of success, however the impact an advertisement will have cannot always be accurately predicted in advance. Customer interaction with online social media promotions such as blogs or twitter feeds can indicate their levels of influence, and the promotion of new films with these media can be easily altered and adapted based on whether potential cinema goers have engaged with the efforts to date. This optimises the success of promotion of new films, to ensure they attract the maximum possible audience.