This week we see the launch of the much-anticipated prequel to the 1968 film, ‘Planet of the Ape’s’, starring Charlton Heston. Expected to smash box-office charts ‘Rise of the Planet of the Apes’ has been in the making for some time, hoping to fill the imagination and hearts of its fans.
When the original was released back in the 60’s marketing was done via magazines, billboards, and TV’s but since the introduction of digital and social media the methods of marketing and promoting new products has evolved greatly.
The social team for ‘Rise of the Planet of the Apes’ have utilised the standard social channels to promote the film, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube however looking at their current social strategy I think they’ve missed a great opportunity to create a strategy as worthy as the original film… Take a look and see what you think.
The film has its own Twitter account, @apeswillrise, and is also using the hashtag #apewillrise to promote the film. Communicating to their 6,000 followers the account engages with it’s followers directly- talking to users on a personal level, this is a great strategy as it breaks any anonymity between the film and it’s audience.
The casual use of common hashtags such as #epicwin also helps channel content; the cross-infiltration allows users to stumble upon their tweets and content accidentally when searching or following these tags.
The Facebook page ‘Rise of the Planet of the Apes’ opens to a welcome message asking the user to ‘like’ the page before viewing any further content. This method, although extremely successful in gaining fans, only works if the content ‘locked’ behind this message is worth it. In this instance I don’t think it is.
The administrator of the page is successful in their communication methods, with conversational, ‘behind the scenes’ and exclusive posts being published regularly. They have integrated content from Twitter and YouTube, allowing their fans to immerse themselves in their digital presence, however the hidden content which includes their iPhone app, (which is also downloadable from the itunes store), ‘research videos’ which takes the user to their YouTube channel, and ‘exclusive content’… (Which I can’t actually seem to find) – isn’t as compelling or as ‘exclusive’ as it perhaps could be.
What is missing from the page is the engagement of events, utilising this app could quite simply be done to publicise world premiers, special openings and events, etc. Photos are being used minimally, arranged by albums, the largest of which only has 12 photos in it. Again, photo albums could quite easily work in accordance with the events, collaborating the different areas of the page.
I was surprised to find that there was no Facebook app for the film, usually a key part of engagement within a Facebook campaign (although perhaps not always necessary), I think in this case an app could have worked really well. By asking fans to engage with the app to win, say, film merchandise, both online sentiment for the film, and word-of-mouth engagement would have increased significantly.
With 8,358 subscribers and over 33,633,530 upload views, their YouTube channel is certainly a vital channel of communication for the campaign. Videos include trailers and ‘research’ posts, however, exclusive footage of ‘behind the scenes’ interviews, and ‘the making of’ would have worked extremely well on this channel, giving fans access to footage not seen elsewhere online.
A better use of their Facebook page and a Facebook app would help enhance numbers, sentiment and engagement, but the introduction of other channels could also be beneficial.
The introduction of Foursquare could play a great role in the marketing campaign- utilising the channels ‘check-in’ feature to generate a game where followers check-in to retrieve prizes. Launching the game across different cities in accordance to film premieres would create massive ‘localised’ buzz, spreading online as users publicise their check-ins and wins on Twitter and Facebook.
Using Twitter to organise the Foursquare competition and to publicise the Facebook app would also help identify to users other channels relating to the campaign, uniting all elements of their social strategy. This cross-pollination of content only helps spread awareness of the campaign and end product.
When developing a social strategy it’s imperative that the channels you use are not only right for the campaign, but also work well together, the strategy must listen to its audience and then decipher where engagement will best fit. For example, in the case of ‘Rise of the Planet of the Apes’ there is no point developing a Flickr presence if their community is strong on Facebook where a similar feature already exists.
Once channels have been chosen and established consistency is key, using the same avatar image across all, and ideally the same name helps users identify your social profiles quickly. In the case of ‘Rise of the Planet of the Apes’, they have the same avatar image, but the name differentiates across channels, on Twitter their profile is called @apeswillrise, on Facebook their page is called ‘Rise of the Planet of the Apes’, whilst their YouTube page is also called ‘Apes will rise’, it would make a lot more sense if they just maintained ‘Apes will Rise’ across all channels, fans, in fact most people (fans or not) would be able to determine that the profile related to the film. Following this, engagement and communication is essential, but that’s another blog, for another time :-)