Monday, 12 December 2011

Slumdog Millionaire and Viral Marketing

So, how did a British film produced by Danny Boyle with a modest budget become such a huge hit? How was the film, depicting life in the slums of Mumbai, so well marketed that everyone was talking about it long before it went on general release?

As they developed their marketing launch plan Pathé focused on digital marketing as an effective and highly accountable route to build awareness of the film with the public.

They appointed digital media agency Tug to work with them to raise awareness of the film in the UK while also targeting niche audiences such as Indian movie goers and Danny Boyle enthusiasts.

To support their above the line advertising Pathé developed a suite of online marketing collateral. These included a viral application, a widget and a trailer focused microsite for Tug to work with.

Tug developed a Pay Per Click (PPC) campaign on the major UK search engines targeting searchers interested in: Pathé , Bollywood, Danny Boyle, Slumdog, Indie movies and the like.

Tug launched targeted banners across the Google Content network to build awareness of the film on a cost per click model.

Tug worked with Google to create click to play trailer ads. Pathé only paid when the surfer clicked through to the microsite. Banner and even trailer views were free!

Tug tested and improved ad copy weekly, and included “Bafta award” and “box office hit” messaging when the movie met these milestones.

A tactical search engine optimisation (SEO) programme was also put in place concentrating on the film name to ensure top positioning for the difficult to index, flash microsite.

The PPC campaign drove more than 75,000 new visitors to Over 73,000 movie goers engaged with and viewed the video trailer and more than 21 million ad impressions were served and viewed by targeted audiences– for free. (on a blind network at £5 CPM that would have cost over £100K)

These results cost £13,000 in media spend over a 5 week burst. And the overall result? Slumdog Millionaire smashed UK box office records and has won 7 Bafta awards and eight Oscars.

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