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  1. Michael
    Michael August 23, 2006

    According to Wikipedia, “Viral marketing and viral advertising refer to marketing techniques that seek to exploit pre-existing social networks to produce exponential increases in brand awareness, through viral processes similar to the spread of an epidemic. It can often be word-of-mouth delivered and enhanced online; it can harness the network effect of the Internet and can be very useful in reaching a large number of people rapidly.”
    To Ken’s question then, can SoaP be seen as a viral success? Let’s go to the web to find out ….
    Punch in “Snakes on a Plane” and “film” (just to narrow the search) and then last year’s Oscar award winning film “Crash” and “film” and let’s compare the results.
    SoaP: 37.5 Million hits
    Crash: 36 Million hits
    SoaP opening weekend box office results? $15.2 Million USD.
    Need I say more?
    – M

  2. Ryan - RFD
    Ryan - RFD August 23, 2006

    Ultimately, I don’t think it was the movie that was viral, it was the name and the “mfing snakes on the mfing plane” line that was viral. So it’s really going to come down to how you define success. Did it make more money than it would have? Impossible to know, but let’s give them a little bit of credit and say it made an extra 3 million. Since that didn’t cost them that much money, it’s a success.
    I think the hype was largely misinterpreted. Most people who have been on the internet for a while have seen these fads come and go. “All your base are belong to us” anyone? Viral campaigns are as successful as the message that is being transmitted. In this case the message was more or less “Man this is a dumb concept for a movie.” When that’s the message that’s viral is it any surprise that it doesn’t translate into ticket sales?
    Something like the shaveeverywhere viral has a clear and positive message and is thus much more likely to have a positive effect on the brand.

  3. Michael Seaton
    Michael Seaton August 23, 2006

    Yes, but ultimately history will see it as “much ado about a B movie that did not really deliver”.
    That being said, on a viral basis (and monetary one too) it was a huge success – it never would have been #1 without social media carrying the ball.
    But , at the end of the day (based on reviews – I have not seen it) the product was a bit of a lunch-bag letdown based on the pre-release hype.
    Are all marketers… uh I mean citizen media types.. liars?
    Bottom line: The ramp up was all great fun… when can we do it again?!?!

  4. David Dougherty
    David Dougherty August 23, 2006

    I would have to say that the viral campaign was a success. Whether or not you intend to see the movie, you have heard about it. The viral campaign spread like wildfire and the movie achieved quasi-cult status in a matter of weeks.
    This said, like many viral campaigns, it is very hard to know what type of action the audience will take. Despite the internet buzz, only a modest amount of people expressed interest in actually seeing the movie. Yes, they hit $15M on opening weekend, but they planned on over $20M. The movie cost over $30M to make, so they will likely see marginal profits.
    As much fun as the campaign was, I hope that this doesn’t start a misguided marketing trend in the movie industry. Not everything is open to this type of viral campaign. A comic approach worked here, but humor is a very tricky platform and is often difficult to work with when you want specific, actionable results. End of day it is the quality of the product that will ultimately lead to success and this movie may fall short in the eyes of investors.
    I did get some laughs from the campaign though. I saw an ad for it on a forum thread several months ago and thought it was a joke. I would like to know how and when everyone else first heard about the movie.

  5. Tim
    Tim August 25, 2006

    It should view it as a success. This movie would have been a complete flop (meaning, not open top 2 on its opening weekend) without it.

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