How Not To Promote Your Movie Through Social Media

My colleague and I were talking about the latest sequel to “American Pie”—aptly titled “American Reunion”—last week and he concluded that it would be a “terrible movie.” Of course, he hasn’t seen it yet, but I trust that he has some good points. Normally, a producer or social media “expert” promoting an upcoming film would chuckle and ignore such bold statements by people like my colleague. Don’t tell that to Chris Moore, who took the kind input of fans way too seriously. In fact, the producer of “American Reunion” bashed fans that criticized the film—basically telling them to f**k off. Watching this guy lose it on Facebook brings us to some good ways NOT to promote your upcoming film:


Just Lose It

If you’ve got a (somewhat) successful franchise like the “American Pie” series (not counting the direct-to-DVD films), you know you should never take your fans for granted, even though they can be rude and vulgar about your latest venture.  I wouldn’t be writing this post today had Chris Moore not took Facebook comments about the upcoming way too seriously and started massive freak-out on the social networking site. Not to mention his numerous grammatical and spelling mistakes, he lashed out against the haters and said, “’I been reading your comments, Most of you are so jaded. Blow jobs and free beer. F*** you!” With every reaction, there’s an equal and opposite reaction and boy did the trolls let him have it. One poster responded, “After the second one i [sic] stopped watching this childish bs…I hope you guys get back on form though or you wont make 10mil lol. Good luck.” Of course, getting angry didn’t help Moore’s cause and he subsequently apologized, but not before Facebookers had their fun.


Not Having A Plan and Groveling To Your Fans

Going back to Moore’s Facebook rant, the reason it turned into a hate-spewing fest was because of one innocuous question. You would think that Universal would spend money to get some thinkers to come up with grand ways of attracting more interest in the film, but Moore decided to ask the fans what they think—in a groveling sort of way. He asked fans, “How do we get people to see this in theaters? how dow e [sic] get people to go with friends?” Moore decided not having a plan and hoping that pleading for fan input will help market the film to a wide audience not only speaks volumes of their strategy, but also inviting such tense exchanges like what happened after he asked the question.


Letting The Fans Make A Better Trailer

The recently-released film John Carter will go down in history as one of Disney’s biggest flops—the company is expecting to lose more than $250 million on this film. Not only did moviegoers veto this Mars-centric film, but the marketing ploys by Disney did not help this mediocre film get its investment back. In addition to making the film look similar to another flop (“Prince of Persia”), the teaser trailer left out any mention of a Pixar connection (the director Andrew Stanton worked on box-office hits “Finding Nemo” and “Wall-E”) or that Edgar Rice Burroughs (“Tarzan”) wrote the novel based on the film. Consequently, fans of the movie decided to make their own trailers that are slightly more superior than the teaser, which attracted a decent amount of views. When you have fans making better trailers for your film and releasing it on YouTube to anyone STILL interested in the film, you know you need better people to man your marketing department.

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