Thursday, September 21, 2006

MySpace Black Carpet Screening - Borat

Last night I managed to get into the London screening of the new Borat movie, about 2 months before the official opening, courtesy of MySpace.

This is how it works: You have to be a member of MySpace, and add both BlackCarpet and Borat as a friend, and then put them in your top eight friends. then print your profile page out to prove this, and go along to the cinema with this as your ticket. It's all first come, first served.

I'd expected a big queue, so I turned up about 15 mins before the doors were due to open at 8pm. They let me in straight away - and I'd estimate of the 300 seats in the cinema 200 were already taken.

I sat down and expected the film to begin a bit after eight, but no - the rumour then went round that it wouldn't start until nine.

What was good about it -

1 - The film is pretty good. Borat follows the Jerry Sadowitz model of 'offend everyone' rather than the usual model of 'pick on the minorities'. Most targets were hit, and it was very gag-heavy for the 80 minutes

2 - It was free, and there was a goodie bag

3 - On a professional level, Fox got a lot of good buzz out of it. MySpace users like to blog, and when I got in this morning there were >100 new blog posts about the film. & lots of people would recommend the film to their friends, increasing the word of mouth for when it does finally come out

What was bad about it -

1 - We had to surrender our mobile phones when we went in, as persumably scared of us bootlegging the film. On a Nokia 6310i? But... they didn't search my bag thoroughly, and they missed my digital camera in that. It was a pain getting the phone back at the end, and as they don't exactly body search people I'll just deny I have a phone next time

2 - There was too long a wait before the film. It's not a gig - making people wait for an hour (or more) doesn't increase the anticipation, it just makes you bored and fed up. If I'd seen the film 10 mins after I'd gone in I would have enjoyed it more. It would have been a 'very good', not a 'pretty good'

3 - The whole thing was a bit shambolic in other ways too. Too heavy security, long queues to get phones back, no trailers (huh?), no end credits... There are lots of negative comments on MySpace from users in the US who had to queue outside for hours with even more shaky organisation

But... if they sort out the negatives, it'll be great next time. The concept is great.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

The Value of a Paid Placement on YouTube

Here's an interesting thing.

The new trailer for Casino Royale appeared on YouTube on 7th September various times by fans.

This version has been seen 26,000 times in one week.

Today, Sony put up exactly the same trailer, and so far it's been seen 417,000 times so far. & linked to by users (including presumably posted into blogs) an incredible 192,000 times. Shows the difference the prominence of the home page placement makes!

Friday, September 08, 2006

Dancing Matt & the Numa Numa Kid

This week I saw two examples of online stars who’d been persuaded to repeat their tricks for commercial ends.

First is Matt Harding, and American who made a video of himself on his world tour in 2003-4. He did a silly dance in lots of different places, like a video version of the people who have photos of themselves taken wearing a football shirt all around the world, and edited them together into a very snappy video:
This was seen by Stride gum, who paid him to re-create the film, and post it up with their logo in the corner. Matt is a very self-effacing bloke, and did an even better job the second time round. See the new version here – currently 2.5m views on YouTube.

The second example is of the Numa Numa guy, Gary Brolsma, who made a video of himself lip-synching to a song by the band O-Zone.
Here’s the Original (sorry - bad Youtube copy):
& now this too has been turned into an ad, in this case for Arnet Internet Providers in Argentina.
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