Entertainment marketers are increasingly looking to Instagram to promote upcoming releases.
For its upcoming feature comedy “The Perfect Match,” Codeblack Films, a subsidiary of Lionsgate, released a game show starring popular influencers on Instagram. The series, also called “The Perfect Match,” was made in the style of the classic ‘80s game show “The Newlywed Game,” in which couples compete to see who is the perfect match out of the group. Spanning eight 15-second episodes, it starred popular Instagram personalities like Draya Michele (4.5 million followers) and Lira Mercer (2.5 million followers).
Launched on Saturday, March 5, across the accounts of the six Instagram influencers that appear in “The Perfect Match,” the series has garnered more than 106,000 likes on the platform. It has also captured more than 37.5 million earned impressions there, according to Codeblack.
Typically, movie studios create social accounts for each movie and spend millions of dollars to draw attention to upcoming releases.
“That doesn’t make sense to me,” said Jeff Clanagan, CEO and president of Codeblack Entertainment, which focuses on producing films for the African American consumer market. “You’re spending all this money to build pages that you will abandon after the movie comes out. I’m focused on a niche market, and it was important for me to grow a community on Instagram and Facebook that I can come back to every time.”
Executive producers: @speedlimitmgmt @codeblacklife @dormtainment would like to introduce the 1st EVER game show on social media!!!!!! More clips to come this week!!!! Don’t forget to go see #ThePerfectMatch in theaters #March11 !!!!! Side note::: this is the first project I executive produced !!!!!! Look at me go!
For Codeblack, Clanagan has built a network of Facebook pages that reach millions of fans, including Codeblack Life (1.5 million followers) and Codeblack Comedy (3.6 million followers). Clanagan has also incubated a network of Instagram influencers that collectively reaches more than 20 million followers on the platform.
“Now all I have to do is flip a switch, because I have an active audience,” said Clanagan. (Clanagan is also comedian Kevin Hart’s producing partner at HartBeat Productions, and Codeblack is behind the comedian’s chart-topping stand-up specials like “Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain.”)
This socially driven approach is doubly important for labels like Codeblack. Unlike a major studio release, films like “The Perfect Match” don’t have big marketing budgets. A more targeted marketing strategy that makes use of finding and reaching the right audiences on social platforms has helped previous Codeblack films like “Addicted,” which made $7.6 million during its opening weekend even though it was only distributed across 846 screens.
This is the first time the studio has used Instagram as the centerpiece of its marketing campaign. While the game show cost less than $10,000 to produce, Clanagan believes it has already earned several times that in marketing value.
Codeblack Entertainment isn’t the first studio to employ Instagram for marketing an upcoming release. The team behind Paramount’s “Zoolander 2” also took to the photo- and video-sharing platform in a variety of ways. For instance, star Kyle Mooney’s character Don Atari has his own Instagram account, offering a peek inside the life of a typically vapid fashion designer. Here he is having “instabrunch” with Man Repeller’s Leandra Medine and Instagram’s head of fashion partnerships Eva Chen:
Had the BEST #instabrunch 🍽 🍳 🍩mad love to my all time #instafam @manrepeller @mrstreetpeeper @evachen212 you fools are #squad for #life shoutout to my top social plat4m @instagram for setting this up #donatari #nomnomnom #eggsatarisideup #JEALOUS? #youjealous
A photo posted by DON ATARI ♋️👾👾👾👾👾👾👾👾👾👾👾👾 (@donatari_69) on
Overall, entertainment marketers are increasingly going to Instagram for influencer-driven campaigns. Nearly half of the 100-plus deals theAmplify, an agency focused on Instagram, Snapchat and influencers, did in 2015 were for movie studios on Instagram, according to CEO Justin Rezvani.
“Views of a trailer on YouTube and Facebook matter a lot for studios, but when it comes to influencers, Instagram is the most important platform for studios,” said Rezvani. “They can do a lot on their owned-and-operated channels on YouTube and Facebook, but Instagram is still a challenge for many.”
Clanagan is a believer. “We are going to create a lot more original content like this,” he said. “For other movies we are developing, one of the things I’ve asked writers is to create prequels for the movies [for Instagram]. Instagram is going to be a major part of our efforts going forward.”
Media Briefing: Publisher execs fear lack of visibility for Q3, but feel steady year over year
Publisher execs share how Q2 shook out for their businesses as they brace for an equally murky second half.
Digiday+ Research: Nearly two-thirds of publishers think they will lose when the third-party cookie dies
Publishers have been busy prepping for the end of the third-party cookie, but that doesn't mean they think they'll come out on top in the post-cookie era. In fact, publishers count themselves among those who stand to lose from the end of the cookie.
Spotify cancels six true crime podcasts amid layoffs, Gimlet-Parcast merger
Spotify is canceling six shows and laying off 200 people as it merges its Gimlet and Parcast units to push its podcast business towards profitability.
SponsoredWhat the measurement and currency discussion really means to TV advertisers
Ali Mack, head of TV and agency, Experian Major streaming video providers have recently made headlines by adopting new currencies for ad measurement, threatening Nielsen’s long-standing TV ratings monopoly. NBCUniversal, for example, has certified iSpot and VideoAmp as currencies for advanced audiences and formed the Joint Industry Committee with Paramount, TelevisaUnivision and Warner Bros. Discovery. […]
As AI spreads across the marketing landscape, data’s role will be key to success or danger
There’s a growing awareness of the risks inherent in AI's ultra-powerful potential, but whether enough steps are being taken to mitigate them remains a huge question mark.
‘Not the future’: European publishers remain steadfast in blocking alternative IDs to third-party cookies
Some European publishers believe alternatives to the third-party cookies, probabilistic or deterministic, will do more harm than good to their ads businesses.