Recognising that The Fans are Your Stars!
The Fault in Our Stars is about to break the $200 million box office mark since the movie adaptation of this popular book opened on June 6, 2014. That’s pretty impressive. However, it is not entirely surprising after the phenomenal fan-centred marketing campaign pulled off by Fox.
John Green is incredibly popular. He has written the bestselling The Fault in Our Stars. He has won awards for his other literary works. He has an incredibly popular YouTube channel with his brother VlogBrothers with over 2 million subscribers. He was part of the team that created VidCon, a huge annual convention for YouTubers, and Project for Awesome. And from this fan-centric focus comes – arguably – the best movie marketing strategy ever carried out for the recent release of the movie adaptation for The Fault in Our Stars.
The Fault in Our Stars has been an incredibly popular book which has spread like wildfire through the young adult audience and even into other demographics through the powerful recommendations from moved readers. Taking advantage of the author’s social media base and the dedicated young readers (many of whom sport tattoos of their favourite passages from the novel), the marketing campaign for this movie release centred predominantly on mobilising this huge force of fans.
Rather than merely ticket buyers, fans have been viewed as ‘brand ambassadors’ due to the strong personal connections they hold with the brand. But rather than using subterfuge to try and trick fans into sharing your content, The Fault in Our Stars has encouraged them to come on board with the rest of the promotional team. By signing up to become a #FaultFanatic fans could gain access to exclusive content from the movie alongside the provision of a weekly task and exclusive download kit. These resources empower the passionate fans to share the special story with their friends while also providing content to stimulate discussion within audiences desperately waiting for the release.
But wait, there’s more . . .
The official website of the movie is specifically geared towards recognising the fans that are sharing and promoting the story. Rather than feature just the trailer, some promotional pictures and a link to purchase tickets, the official website’s homepage also live streams from the movie’s Tumblr page. This means that fan art, stories and relationships with the story are being featured on the website. Not only does this provide many personal recommendations which are the most powerful marketing tool known to humanity, but it also provides an incentive for fans to create engaging and interestingly creative content which will then be featured on the official website.
But wait, there’s even more . . .
Staying with the social media theme, the author’s gargantuan presence on social media is another secret weapon in the marketing strategy. Alongside his 2 million YouTube followers, John Green also has 2.77 million engaged Twitter followers. Rather than use the platform as a purely promotional tool, he has crafted an opportunity for fans of the book, fans of the movie and those who became fans in between to follow a journey through the movie’s creation. This specific journey creates a special relationship with these followers who in turn share the meaningful story with their friends who then join the journey and share it with their friends. The pebble-in-the-pond ripple effect.
If anybody is looking for an explanation of what effective entertainment marketing will look like in the future, this is your best bet. The fans are the people who have made the success of the original novel, the fans have the most passionate stories to tell of this tear-jerking novel and they are in the best position to spread the word. All it takes is a bit of clever engagement!
So go and see the movie or read the book and then join the massive The Fault in Our Stars movement.