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"Red Tails" Movie - This is How You Market a Film!

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I swear that it was providence that brought the release date of Red Tails and its associated marketing campaign so close to the release date for Piece of the Fame: Rockstar Social Media Marketing for Everyone to Ignite Your Business, Career and Personal Brand.  I don't know how many pieces of the campaign touched you personally, but if you put it all together, you have an incredible blueprint for your own marketing efforts, very much in line with my recommendations in my book.  To date, RedTails, the film that no one thought would succeed, has grossed $41 Million at the box office.  I attribute this to absolutely incredible marketing savvy.  

If you haven't had a chance to pick up Piece of the Fame yet, you should, but I'll try to pull out the relevant parts so that we're on the same page for this discussion.

If you're thinking of launching a project, of whatever nature, you should be thinking of these components:

1.  Specifically target your audience.  George Lucas was very direct about who he was targeting his film towards and the market that he was intending to support the movie.  His appeal was very specific to the African-American audience, with an implicit challenge to demonstrate the power of their consumption dollars at the box office.

2.  Go grassroots.  In addition to the television and mass media blitz with the quotes in USA Today, expressing George Lucas' fear that if "Red Tails" wasn't successful, Hollywood would never make another big budget movie (appealing to our fear), there were posts all over Facebook, and non-stop mass emails propagating and reinforcing the same messaging (my mother received 3).

Red Tails Facebook Post

The image that follows is a post from one of my FB Friends, with their own statement of the Red Tails story (not the movie plot story, but the production challenges story) and a personal appeal to go see the film.  This is POWERFUL stuff.  

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The stuff that marketing dreams are made of...which leads to my 3rd point.

3.  Give people tools to tell your story.  Television, Facebook and email weren't the only elements of the Red Tails campaign.

Did you know about www.TeamRedTails.com?  This website serves as a hub for all things needed to evangelize the film for a base of supporters.  There are wallpapers to post on Facebook and Twitter, there are intimate video pleas for support and additional behind the scenes content and statements from the cast.  Team RedTails allowed you to "take the pledge" to support the movie opening weekend, promising not only to attend, but bring your family, friends and church members.  This is the concept of the buy-in before the critical launch that is so important to the initial success of a project.

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If you're interested in how to best leverage social media and the tools of the Internet to launch a project against certain odds, Red Tails should truly be the case study you reference.  
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