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Is it Marvelous Movie Making or Mere Marketing?

Is it Marvelous Movie Making or Mere Marketing?

Lessons from the Oscar Nods

The Irishman is the best picture of the year; really? Raise your hand if you tried more than 3 times to watch this almost 4-hour overstuffed, overwrought, been there/done that mafia saga?

Or, how about A Marriage Story? My husband will divorce me if I try to view this depressing story just one more time. And, then there’s The Joker. The film is so deranged and disjointed that even the co-screenwriter Todd Phillips told Oscar nominee Joaquin Phoenix to think of the film as a heist movie. “We’re gonna take $55 million from Warner Bros. and do whatever the hell we want.”

Let us not forget that disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein was a master of marketing his films for the Oscars. He once even had Daniel Day Lewis testify before Congress on disability issues right before the vote for My Left Foot! He implemented guerilla tactics, calling Academy members at home, hosting nightly parties for potential best actor nominees, whispering in members’ ears and spending then a whopping $5million to upset Saving Private Ryan in order to have his film Shakespeare in Love win best picture. Wow!

Today, marketing for the Oscars is de rigueur. It’s estimated that getting Oscar buzz cost about $20 million to $30 million per film.

3 Marketing Lessons

But, what’s the takeaway when it comes to movie marketing? 3 lessons:

  1. Marketing Builds Personal Brands – Every appearance, interview, social media post, or photograph creates the brand of the nominee. It’s not uncommon today to see marketing budgets that not only include hair, makeup, and wardrobe, but even special wardrobe allowances just for the airplane trip. Remember: your brand is a combination of your intended and unintended messages. All touchpoints count!

  2. Marketing Should Have a Positive ROI: The research is clear that Academy Award nominations boost ticket sales. A scientific study calculated that a best picture nomination garners a 25% rise in its weekly box office compared to similar films not running for the Oscars. Moreover, a movie that wins the Oscar increases its weekly revenues of 50 % after the ceremony.

  3. Fish in the Right Pond – Another one of Weinstein’s audacious acts was bringing nominees to a Hollywood retirement home. If Mohammed can’t come to the mountain, bring their mountain to Mohammed! Review your target market strategy to ensure you’re reaching the right target at the right time.What have you learned about Oscar marketing? And, more importantly, what picture will win for best picture of the year? Leave your comments below.

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