It’s Oscar season, which means two things: the first being that tons of quality movies are about to return to theatres and the second being that PR for the production companies for the films are about to increase online advertisements. Perhaps you’ve seen it before when scrolling through your Twitter timeline: a paid ad for movies that you may or may not have any interest in. Often you stop to wonder if you accidentally followed a wrong account.
Now personally I don’t mind it. Seeing that short clip of a trailer as I rapidly move through my timeline serves to remind me that I need to check out “Moonlight” before the actual Academy Awards airs. I’m a huge film buff and I don’t mind seeing ads for movies. It makes sense.
But my issue with this trend is when it reaches a ridiculous amount of advertisements in a row. I don’t know if my Twitter algorithm is messed up, but I noticed a trend on my timeline of late. Movies of which I had no interest in (Looking at you, “xXx: The Return of Xander Cage”) would pop up after every 50 or so tweets where as movies I have interest in may appear after every 250 tweets in my timeline. Simply put, by this The Guardian article, Twitter ads make advertising easier. Way easier.
Personally I think it is a total PR move. A movie that may garner less of an audience because of either a silly premise or a suspected lack of an audience (Seriously, was anyone really asking for another “xXx” movie?) tends to produce more ads due to a fear of box office failure. If an ad can get someone to talk about the movie, then mission accomplished. This applies to both social media and television. On the other hand, Oscar-nominated movies tend to gain more attraction from simple word-of-mouth, thus rendering ads a little less important.
And that’s also why we see in these ads that a big selling point is Oscar nominations. The film “La La Land” has been sold over social media upon its record-tying 14 Oscar nominations.
Either way you look at it, it seems like this is going to be a continued trend. Besides, there has to be some reason “xXx” made $20 million at the box office last weekend.
Gray, A. (2014). Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/film/filmblog/2014/jun/16/twitter-movie-website-hashtag-film-social-media
Kirby, D. (2016). Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-m-kirby/the-role-of-social-media-_b_10571026.html
Blog by Samuel Boyd