Give The People What They Want

“Give the people what they want
You gotta give the people what they want
The more they get, the more they need
And every time they get harder and harder to please”

The Kinks’ song, “Give The People What They Want,” captures consumers’ sentiments so well: “The more they get, the more they need.” Movie studio advertisers should take that line to heart – today’s online consumers have become habituated to “liking” and “sharing.” Tapping into the sharing graph of consumers can provide incredibly valuable audience targeting and scale.

Every day on the open web over 16 billion things are shared. We can thank Facebook for lighting the fire to habituate people to sharing. As a proxy to the open web, Facebook’s closed network sees about 4 billion things shared every day. Tapping into this fertile and real-time sharing data is a must for movie studios looking to engage audiences.



When I was running monetization strategy for a multinational Internet corporation’s communication and communities properties, Messenger was always the product that movie studios wanted since engagement and reach were so high – and effective. The big problem working with the studios was that they were very non-committal ahead of a movie’s general release; and as such they would only buy a small number of impressions.

When a movie opened in test select test markets and was softer than anticipated, they would be coming back asking for inventory that week or the next. Of course, all my inventory was already sold. This led to many conversations about how we didn’t value the relationship.

In fact, we did value the relationship but no ad network or publisher can afford to hold inventory on the bet the advertiser will buy it. Thankfully, CPG and automotive advertisers were not so fickle and booked well in advance of product launches. It wasn’t that the studios were poor planners, per se; the problem was that they had no good way to understand their audience sentiment in real-time and react to it.

Social sharing on the open web has changed that and is a great long-range listening tool that studios have been looking for to better understand real-time audience sentiment, intent and engagement.

For example, what if a studio created trailers with a social overlay that let consumers “like” and “share” from the movie website? That sharing engagement would certainly help better understand audience receptivity as well as provide valuable audience understanding and targeting. The studio could turn that sharing insight into actionable data and apply it to a paid media campaign, to target the most receptive audiences and continually optimize audience segments and expand the audience by leveraging sharing on that same campaign.

Additionally, theatrical releases are usually followed by DVD releases – and that campaign is just one more opportunity to leverage sharing insights to drive further ROI that social sharing audience targeting and scale offers.

Many CPG, automotive and direct response advertisers are already reaping the benefits that real time social sharing on the open web delivers. And I firmly believe entertainment franchises have a lot of fans that are already sharing with friends online. Give the people what they want – more social sharing!

2 comments about "Give The People What They Want ".
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  1. Robi Ganguly from Apptentive, December 15, 2011 at 2:49 p.m.

    I think you hit the nail on the head in your final paragraph - entertainment franchises are built to entertain people. Their product is incredibly shareable in a connected world. The opportunity for entertainment companies to step deeper into the sharing stream through more meaningful conversations with consumers is HUGE.

    It also seems to me that truly great entertainment properties are built around storytelling. Consumer marketing and relationship building is really the building of your story with your consumers. Entertainment companies have a significant advantage in their DNA and can be leaders in a connected, communicative consumer world.

  2. James Nichols from ROIDNA, December 15, 2011 at 8:12 p.m.

    The hypy nature of entertainment marketing makes it hard to plan ahead, but I sure hope that they can start planning ahead more because the content is so eminently sharable and powerful. Social's biggest opportunity is arguably in social. Great perspective!

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