Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Perils of web marketing

Interesting article, which looks at the examples of movies which have sought to build appeal through silly titles which bloggers will pick up on, Snakes on a Plane being the prime example. Excerpt:
Once it's completed, Hobo With a Shotgun will become the latest film to join the ranks of that increasingly depressing sub-genre – the Deliberately Dumb Internet LOLZ movie.
You know the type of movie I mean. The one that doesn't have much of a budget and gets marketed purely on the fact that its title makes a handful of blogs get all ironically OMG about it for a couple of days. Snakes On a Plane started the trend in 2006 – by the time the internet heard that a) there was a film about some snakes on a plane called Snakes On a Plane and b) the internet had actively rewritten parts of it to make it even more stupid, then hype became so deafening that its success was all but guaranteed. Until it was released, that is, because then it became apparent that it would struggle to make its money back domestically.
But that didn't stop other producers from realising that if you give your film a ridiculously on-the-nose title, then the internet will go crazy for it. Just look at how it fell for Hot Tub Time Machine or the impossibly tedious Mega Shark Vs Giant Octopus when they were released. And soon there'll be Hobo With a Shotgun as well, lapping up the kind of online attention that YouTube videos such as Monkey On a Segway or Bear On a Trampoline did. Except that you'll actually have to pay to see Hobo With a Shotgun, and people tend to expect a little bit more than a funny title if they're actually going to cough up for it.

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