I was one of the millions who watched The Interview over the weekend. Did I spend $5.99 to watch it? Yes. Would I have seen it in the theatres without all of the attention it got in the past few weeks? Absolutely not.
The movie itself is typical; it’s not near the comedic level necessary to become an annual holiday tradition and I won’t go out of my way to see it again. I’m no movie critic BUT I did find the whole ordeal interesting from a marketing viewpoint, especially because of how the movie was watched.
The Interview was given 2.5 stars by Rotten Tomatoes but made over $15 million in just three days. Although not shown in major US cinemas, the profit came from online downloads at less than the average price for a cinema ticket. These legal downloads came via YouTube, Xbox Video, and Google Play.
We’ve entered a new phase of mobile marketing. As soon as the movie was released online, conspiracy theories regarding the Sony Hack and potential profits started to morph it all into a brilliant marketing stunt. Twitter became equal parts furious and frightened until RTs on where to watch the video drowned out those tweets. Since 80% of active Twitter users are on mobile, one can assume a majority of these links were clicked on a mobile device and either watched on that screen or sent to a larger one via Chromecast or similar technology.
It’s a prime example of the right here, right now world we live in. Being glued to our devices, our cell phones are our main source of news and entertainment. After all of the excitement and scandal surrounding The Interview, I felt like I had to watch it because it was the next chapter regardless of whether I wanted to or not.
I didn’t want to miss out.
This fear of missing out will spur the growth of right here, right now opportunities in mobile marketing. Known as FOMO, yes it’s in the dictionary, mobile marketing combats this fear by giving cell phones the ability to notify their user of what is happening right now. Paired with location, the possibilities become more powerful and can extend past retail to special events and rare opportunities and more.
On a side note, I was disappointed there wasn’t a surprise in the movie such as a Starbucks code for a star. I played by the rules and was disappointed there wasn’t a reward. Our need for instant gratification makes the partnership of mobile rewards and their use as a marketing tool quite impactful.
Although The Interview won’t leave a lasting impression on viewers, the surrounding circumstances and mobile marketing campaigns to come undoubtedly will.