What Encourages Your Decision in Choosing a Movie?
Chris Thilk over at Movie Marketing Madness has recently introduced a rather interesting topic of discussion. He asks the question "how do you decide what movies to watch?" and presents three small samples from his friends with their own reasons for five movies they recently watched. The question of "what encourages your decision in choosing a movie?" has been the quintessential one I've been trying to answer since starting FS.net. How do I encourage you to go out and see something? What other ways can I help studios build up their marketing?
One of the key points that Chris mentions in his conclusion is about our experiences and that marketing campaigns evolve around discussion platforms like this blog. We'll let him better explain:
"The recommendations we give to others are based on our experiences. But those experiences are still going to be driven to some extent by advertising and marketing campaigns. And considering those campaigns are the subject of a good amount of the online content being produced by actual end-user customers (like me) it's more important than ever that studios not just track the impressions registered by the campaign but also the discussion that's evolving around them. It's these discussions that form the basis for recommendations, so monitoring and involvement in the discussion is crucial to the success of the product being advertised."
He makes a great point regarding discussion like the comments left on some of our trailer posts and how they are actually a part of the user experience when watching a trailer, despite that users initial reaction alone (before they read the comments). That goes for every situation and every movie and every bit of marketing that gets out there. In a way, everything that ends up on this site is going through my own experience filter. If something bothers me (e.g. the trailer for Hancock), then my post is initially negative. In turn, if something excites me (e.g. the trailer for Speed Racer) the post is overly positive, thus establishing a base level of experience for every reader.
Before I get too far off topic, I want to go back to the original question: what encourages your decision? I'm curious to know whether it is the age-old belief that it's friends and family who encourage you the most or whether it actually is trailers or even interviews. Obviously the more trust there is between two "sources", whether it's a person or a website, the more emphasis that "source" has on the individual in the end. That's why friends work so well - you trust them with your life, so why not trust them when it comes to choosing how you will spend $10 and two hours? However, ask yourself this, would you even be at that point of consideration if you hadn't seen a trailer or photos previously?
Another question to ask yourself - would you ever go into a movie blindly without knowing anything more than a one-sentence vague plot description and the title? That's what I do every year at Sundance. I venture into some 30 odd movies without knowing what to expect in the slightest beyond maybe who's in it and the lamest plot description you could imagine. However, most moviegoers in this day and age who go to the movie theater usually have a very vast amount of knowledge surrounding a film. Or do they? As much as I like to believe that everyone who goes down to a theater knows who directed every movie or even what it's really about, most don't. I fear that most base their decisions on some very small amount of information - maybe even a 30 second TV spot.
Before I get too far, I want to open this up to discussion. I have a feeling that trailers will take the cake, but I'm not 100% certain. I'm curious to know whether interviews ever actually change your opinion or encourage anyone take a greater interest or whether other editorials have an impact either. Has anyone ever experienced a situation so extreme where they absolutely hated a movie but some last-minute "thing" changed their opinion entirely? I want to hear about how most people make their decision before I begin to really analyze what works best. Share your stories and thoughts!
Arclight marquee photo courtesy of jleighb on Flickr.