Our social media department had the opportunity to present at The University of Tennessee’s Social Media Week this past week. The following is a summary of that presentation.
If you’ve seen the movie Re:Generation Music Project, you know the premise: mashing up artists of different backgrounds to produce something new and push the boundaries of traditional music genres. Re:Generation Music Project is itself a mashup – a movie about music, and one that was advertised and promoted almost exclusively via social media.
Lately we’ve seen media take a similar turn. Traditional media like print, radio, outdoor and TV, have integrated new media like social, web video and guerilla marketing to create one cohesive strategy. This isn’t to say that traditional media is dead. In fact, it’s just the opposite; it’s evolving and regenerating with the use of new media and technology.
Music may be one of the oldest forms of broadcast media, but that also means it’s arguably come the furthest. From the first music broadcast via radio in 1917 to the internet radio boom in 1994 and beyond, our want for the ability to listen to our favorite tunes hasn’t changed much. But since then, we’ve seen a constant evolution of one of our oldest forms of media.
There are now web-based communities of bands like Reverbnation, music celebrities taking up 7 of the top 10 spots on the list of most-followed Twitter accounts and musicians like Lady Gaga starting their own social networks. The music world is all over social media, promoting shows and engaging their biggest fans. There’s also Spotify, an online music source that can be shared on Facebook and among your friends making music more viral and integrating social more with this traditional medium.
TV has also had to change the way it holds its audience’s attention. The rising popularity of affordable technology has introduced distractions and competition to this traditional medium in the form of web content and second screening. Television has been forced to make a transition, integrating social media into the viewing experience.
Shows like American Idol, a show which has had to make a complete transition to social media having started before it took off, and The Walking Dead have incorporated Twitter handles and hashtags into the viewing experience to create conversation surrounding the show. TV icons like Conan O’Brien have also taken to social media to create conversations about their show or persona. During O’Brien’s television hiatus, he took to as many social media sites as possible, created a team of brand advocates (Team Coco) and dominated the TV talk show ratings when he returned.
Services like GetGlue and HBO Go, as well as Netflix have been created around the integration of social and television. GetGlue gives users the ability to check in to their favorite shows in order to gain physical prizes—visually appealing stickers that are sent in a sheet of 20 after 20 check ins. HBO Go has taken the normal subscription to its service on television and has turned it into a behind-the-scenes experience for fans of the shows online. Netflix is entering into the field of content creation, releasing new episodes of Arrested Development airing exclusively online.
Because movies are more of a one-time thing than music or TV shows, their releases are often planned years ahead of time, which means big budgets, and even bigger ideas. Movies have always relied on advertising to sell tickets, from the lighted marquis and personable street promoters, to high budget teaser trailers. Now, with movie prices through the roof and a looming on-demand market, movies have had to change their game and offer audiences something they can’t ignore, live without, or get at home.
Movies like The Hobbit, Chronicle and Ted have been teasing their release for a long lead-time now. The Hobbit director has been publishing 10-minute videos of behind-the-scenes footage as a teaser to draw audience attention to the forthcoming movie. The Chronicle used guerilla marketing to promote its release by flying 3 RC airplanes that were converted into “flying teenagers” and sent into the sky in NYC. Ted has created a Facebook page promoting the movie by having the stuffed animal bear in the movie talk in first person to its audience. And The Five-Year Engagement even went so far as to create a blog with no movie branding about the main characters acting like they were getting married.
These examples are setting a precedent for traditional media to regenerate to include a more interactive social experience. As social and traditional mediums continue to collide, everything that is done offline will have some sort of online connection, redefining everything marketers and advertisers have been doing for years.
Presentation compiled by Cole Mauer, Digital Analyst; Taylor Griffin, PR & Social Media Specialist; and Chance Vineyard, Social Media Specialist.