A blog by Campbell Consulting Group, based in Bend, Oregon.

Monday, June 8, 2009

An indie filmmaker's viral marketing campaign

Check out this social + viral marketing ploy by Portland indie filmmaker Andy Mingo:
Actor Eddie Wretch is still missing, six months after his director first tried to reach him to let him know that his most recent film, The Iconographer, is a likely film festival hit...

...Without evidence of some crime the actor is just another missing person to law enforcement so film maker Mingo has turned to social media to create a Wretch Watch.

He has enlisted Wretch's and his own fan base to help in the search and he spends his evenings posting Find Eddie messages on Facebook and MySpace. He's even working on a quick Where is Eddie Wretch documentary to raise awareness of the lost actor.

To maximize interest in the search for Eddie Wretch director Mingo is offering an atypical reward: an invitation for two to a private screening of The Iconographer at a Portland celebrity's home.

"...We're following every lead but my goal of finding him before the big preview seems more unlikely each day," said Mingo.

Read the full story here.

Great idea, but so far the social media campaign seems lackluster -- I couldn't find much evidence of Mingo following through on his promise. If you have a killer idea about how to use social media, go all out! It's cheap and easy to promote something virally, but you need more than a press release. Post videos that combine clips from the movie with content created exclusively for the viral campaign, or create digital images of a missing person poster. The key is to create things that people can spread around. A good example is the extensive social + viral campaign that promoted the 3D claymation film Coraline. Wieden & Kennedy (from right here in Portland, Oregon) sent props from the film to influential bloggers and created a mystery for them to solve that involved the numbers of the boxes. The campaign also created a complex web site with secret "rooms," and in one room you could click on a box of Nike Duhks and win a pair. And so on. Part of the reason Coraline exceeded expectations at the box office by 30%.

-Adrianne (@msfener)