Authenticity and accessibility were two of the top themes for speakers on the “View From the Top: The Future of Content Marketing” panel at the Digital Entertainment World conference in Marina del Rey, Calif., Feb. 5.
“We’re in a very admirable position in that our content, movies, movie trailers, people view it as a form of entertainment,” said Sandro Corsaro, SVP and chief creative officer, Fandango. “Not many people here would watch three or four car commercials for entertainment, but people love trailers.”
He noted how entertainment has a natural viral nature.
“Our influencers, if you will, if you look at Chris Pratt on Instagram yesterday or the day before, he posted about The Lego Movie 2, he posted about the Rotten Tomato score (Rotten Tomatoes is a sister company to Fandango) and that pushed to Fandango,” he said. “We don’t pay him to do that. We don’t tell him to do that. He has a vested interest obviously in the success of the content, so we’re fortunate in that sense.”
Fandango also uses branded marketing.
“We had a program over the summer called Fanticipation with Microsoft Surface where we had a bunch of influencers get together and talk about movies using the Surface Pro to kind of diagram and design and talk about superhero movies,” he said.
Both instances involve authenticity and accessibility that make the campaigns more relevant for digital audiences.
“The expression of authenticity and the expression of accessibility through content marketing — those are the core tenets that we think of all the time when we talk about movies,” Corsaro said.
Kym Nelson, SVP of Twitch, noted that the gameplay live streaming service is one that tends to “resonate with Gen Z and the millennial audience, and [advertisers] recognize that that is their current and future consumer.”
Twitch has gathered those streamers into a force that brands can utilize.
“We’ve created a tool that automates the ability for all of our streamers to participate in a bounty if you will and we’re able to collect data on the backend and for any data we can match the information from the brand and the information from the streamers,” she said.
For instance, with Dollar Shave Club, Twitch utilized appropriate streamers to review and talk about the product. “We had them play with it and we knew it was a roll of the dice,” Nelson said.
Suffice it to say, there were unexpected streamed responses.
“They are laugh out loud funny,” offered Russell Arons, SVP and GM of Machinima.
Fandango, too, has been able to leverage comedy.
“Kevin Hart has been obviously on this meteoric rise,” noted Corsaro. “I think he’s what 135 pounds so we made him a belt that said, ‘Pound for Pound, Biggest Movie Star in the World.’ We gave him that belt in front of the Rock and we kind of watched it matriculate on the Internet.”
Authenticity, often proffered by comedy, is not the only thing marketing in the digital age requires; accessibility is also important.
“Experiential is the thing right now,” said Arons, referencing events such as Comic-con and the interaction with fans there.
“This desire to find their communities in person that they’ve been interacting with online is incredibly powerful,” she said.
Twitch’s Nelson added that “integrating [experiential] with a live stream platform so that that experiential experience can be broadcast to a wider audience so people in Mississippi, who may not be at Comic-con or South by Southwest, have that live experience [is also important].”
Tim Sovay, COO of CreatorIQ, noted the Feb. 1 event featuring DJ Marshmello and the Fortnite game platform.
“There was no brand involved in this, but it was just the power of the platform with the right artist and the right audience,” he said. “10 million confirmed viewers on a 10-minute concert took place live on the platform.”