Today's top movie studio executives use a four-lever approach to predict the success of a film: capability, marketability, playability, and buzzability. These pillars look to previous trends to indicate how a given project will perform—and what audiences may seek it out.
Although movie marketing is a much lengthier (and costlier) process than planning an Instagram post, understanding the framework behind these decisions can fundamentally improve the way your brand executes its social media strategy. Specifically, the overarching story behind it.
Defining the Pillars
Here is an overview of the four factors movie marketers must consider before a story is green-lit:
1) Capability: A concept study. The earliest measurement of a given property's potential. In this phase, a studio will decide whether to commit tens of millions of dollars to a project.
Who is the audience for this movie? How many of the four quadrants (male/female, 25+/25-) does it appeal to?
2) Marketability: A positioning study. Assesses the best strategic positioning for a movie, which is how the marketing campaign will present the film to the world.
What combination of genre & MPAA rating will yield the highest number of attendees?
3) Playability: A study that examines the level of satisfaction an audience derives from a movie. Occurs in post-production, before the film is picture locked.
How does the film perform in test screenings in various geographic areas? Do the jokes land? Are special effects believable?
4) Buzzability: A measure of critical response and social media influence.
How will people talk about the film online?
Applying the Pillars
As a social media marketer, you can use these strategies to create your proof-of-concept. A novice company make the mistake of copying innovative engagement strategies without taking the time to understand its unique brand image. These four pillars provide a framework that, when utilized correctly, ensures a brand's digital story is told effectively—and to the optimal audience.