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The Internet Revolution-The Tool For Creative
Independents To Maximize Their Marketing Strategies
The Mighty Macs
  
The Internet has revolutionized society, and particularly NOW how filmed entertainment is marketed, produced, distributed and consumed by the worldwide audience. Furthermore filmmakers, sales agents and distributors who traditionally resist change are adapting to the changed environment, but NOW is no longer fast enough. As an example in this 'changed' environment the case of The Mighty Macs below illustrates that audiences want to see inspirational films and with relatively unknown 'names'. With the advances in technology that The Business of Film has made in trade publishing there is no better illustration for the AFM Editorial than the story below. Elspeth Tavares.

The Mighty Macs Marketing Campaign via Face Book
For the filmmakers of The Mighty Macs, last weekend's highest grossing limited release film, Facebook put a new spin on film marketing by offering advertisers the ability to target consumers based on their 'Favorites.' The strategy is simple: target an audience based on the 'Favorite films' posted on their Facebook page, then deliver a compelling message that informs them that there is a new film that is just like their favorite movie.

"If you know what a Facebook user's favorite films have been in the past, you can predict what their favorite films will be in the future," said Sean Wolfington, owner of Tier10Marketing.com, the marketing company that worked with Facebook executives to conduct a laser targeted campaign that helped catapult the new inspirational sports film, The Mighty Macs, into the #1 top-grossing limited release film the weekend it opened in theaters. "Most films are marketed through giant TV campaigns. Because this movie didn't have the budget, we created a 'Targeted TV' campaign that reached consumers who have the highest statistical probability of showing up at the theater for this type of inspirational sports film with a message they cannot deny."

Here is how it worked - Facebook users who covet inspirational sports films based on true stories, like the ever-popular movies Rudy and Hoosiers, and have posted these movies as "Favorites" on their Facebook page, are the target audience. After determining these targets, marketers can filter them based on demographics. "The Mighty Macs began as a limited release in less than 1,000 theaters, so we targeted Facebook users who live within driving distance of the theaters that are showing our film," said Wolfington.

After identifying the target audience, the filmmakers produced a video to send to the consumers to motivate them to come to the box office on opening weekend. As fate would dictate, Rudy Ruettiger, the real-life "Rudy" who inspired the film about his life, saw and loved The Mighty Macs, and volunteered to promote it, saying, "The Mighty Macs is the Rudy of this generation."

The filmmakers utilized an interview with Ruettiger, in which Rudy praised the film, saying, "If you liked Hoosiers and Rudy, you will love The Mighty Macs." With Ruettiger's permission, the short video clip was distributed by Facebook to Facebook users who had chosen Rudy as one of their favorite movies. In short, consumers who love Rudy, received a video from Ruettiger encouraging them to go see The Mighty Macs, and to "Share" the clip with their Facebook friends. With the average Facebook user having 180 friends, the viral power of a user clicking "Like-Share-Comment," now more than ever, creates the potential for videos to spiral into global Internet sensations. What is also unique is that the filmmakers only pay when users click on the video initially, and not for impressions of the video or when users share with friends.

"We call this strategy 'Targeted TV' because it gives us all the upside of TV, with its powerful combination of sight, sound and motion, with the ability to deliver the right message to the right consumer. In this case it's the consumer who loves inspiring sports films, particularly, Rudy. It's a perfect campaign because people who love the real-life Rudy want to listen to what Rudy loves, especially films that inspire him," said Tim Chambers, the writer, director and producer of The Mighty Macs.

"We call the second half of the campaign, 'Social TV' because users who "Like" the Ruettiger video can share it with all of their friends and then the whole process repeats itself indefinitely," added Wolfington. "When 'Targeted TV' becomes 'Viral TV' with the click of a button, it is a very effective way to attract customers who have the highest statistical probability of going to see The Mighty Macs."

"Traditional TV can't target to that level of detail today and consumers can't 'Like' and 'Share' commercials the way they can with videos online," Wolfington emphasizes. "This is the future of marketing. It's amazing!"

About The Mighty Macs: The Mighty Macs is based on the incredible true story of the 1971-72 Immaculata College team that started in obscurity but became the original Cinderella story in women's basketball when a national champion was crowned for the first time in women's basketball. This newly founded team of pioneers went from barely making that inaugural tournament to the first dynasty in their game. And Cathy Rush, the woman that changed the game for the better, became immortalized when she was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame last year. The Mighty Macs stars Carla Gugino as Cathy Rush; David Boreanaz as her husband, NBA referee Ed Rush; Marley Shelton as Sister Sunday; and Academy Award and Tony Award winner Ellen Burstyn as Mother St. John. The Mighty Macs opened in theaters on October 21(st) and was released in 1,000 theaters through Sony Pictures. Tim Chambers wrote, produced and directed, with executive producers Vince Curran, John Chambers, Thomas Carl, Bud S. Smith, Pat Croce and Sean Wolfington, who also owns Tier10Marketing.com, the company that architected this new social media marketing strategy for films.

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