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Make It Social
April 19, 2014 3:22 PM   Subscribe

Advertising trade paper ADWEEK is trying to handle 'viral marketing' and 'social media' the same way as it always handled TV commercials and magazine ads. So, it noted that one of the most successful 'social branding' promotions of the last six months was for Ian McKellan and Patrick Stewart on Broadway.
Note: While McKellan was much more active on Facebook recently, Stewart has had many more MetaFilter FPPs (in fact, Ian's only post here was about him officiating at Stewart's wedding).
posted by oneswellfoop (21 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite

 
Note: While McKellan was much more active on Facebook recently, Stewart has had many more MetaFilter FPPs (in fact, Ian's only post here was about him officiating at Stewart's wedding).

That's mostly because you've spelt his name wrong.
posted by dng at 3:41 PM on April 19 [3 favorites]


yes, I do that a lot. thanks for catching it, dmg.
posted by oneswellfoop at 3:56 PM on April 19 [6 favorites]


I don't understand after reading ADWEEK's article; was this a directed marketing campaign? Did some social media optimization weasel plan out all those tweets and photos? What made them wonderful is they truly seemed genuine, two famous fun actors enjoying their time together. I'd hate to think that was all scheduled by Bob in Marketing, although I guess it wouldn't surprise me. But I'd prefer to believe it was more genuine than that, two guys really having fun and being smart about using that sincere fun to sell tickets.

Ian McKellen has been doing "social media" since long before that term was invented, back when we still called it "blogging" and "answering fan mail". His official web site is phenomenally personal and dates back to 1997, with content constantly updated (if not design). See for example answering fan questions about Lord of the Rings; patient, detailed, and authentic.
posted by Nelson at 3:58 PM on April 19 [6 favorites]


Bonus Ian McKellen: Vicious, a light BBC comedy of McKellen and Derek Jacobi playing a gay couple. A couple of nasty vicious queens who are hilariously awful and occasionally loving to each other. It's really not very good but it is kind of fun. PBS is bringing it to the US soon, I think in July.
posted by Nelson at 4:01 PM on April 19 [1 favorite]


I know people who run the social media profiles of various celebs and try to plan these little events and they always fail cause they approach it like a media roll out and not someone interacting with thier fans or using blogging/twitter/whatever as anyone else would.

Like my favorite thing about twitter is that it's so easy to tell who is a robot or run by an intern.
posted by The Whelk at 4:10 PM on April 19 [3 favorites]


It's really not very good but it is kind of fun.

Well played, sir.
posted by Kinbote at 5:20 PM on April 19


I don't understand after reading ADWEEK's article; was this a directed marketing campaign?

I think the OP is implying that it was not an official marketing campaign, but that Adweek is treating it that way because it's Adweek and they don't really know any better.

(I mean, of course it was promotional, the actors would pimp the plays in their posts, but I don't think it was intended to be part of an organized campaign.)
posted by chrominance at 6:25 PM on April 19 [1 favorite]


chrominance just said it better than I could. (and with no misspellings - or was that chrominence?)
posted by oneswellfoop at 6:39 PM on April 19 [1 favorite]


Of course the famous celebs hanging out in quirky old man ways that play up to the internet's fannish expectations of them while mentioning the productions they are starring in is an organized campaign. For small to medium values of organization.

It's been incredibly effective, given how much I've seen those pictures posted all over reddit and twitter.
posted by pmv at 9:44 PM on April 19 [2 favorites]


And tumblr, which mostly just seems kind of amazed at - "But McKellen is gay! And Sir Pat is straight! And they're hanging out and touching and no one even looks uncomfortable?! Like it's no big deal? THIS IS AWESOME MUST REBLOG"
posted by lwb at 9:59 PM on April 19 [3 favorites]


It seems quite appropriate to compare this to a print or television campaign: two charming actors promote their show wearing funny hats. Those are some of the key ingredients of a good campaign. Funny hats are critical. And they do it well: it may have been planned, but they very well could be having a good, authentic time doing it.
posted by romanb at 3:10 AM on April 20 [1 favorite]


I follow @SirPatStew and have never gotten the sense that its a bot. "It" has way too much fun for a bot.

I think the OP is implying that it was not an official marketing campaign, but that Adweek is treating it that way because it's Adweek and they don't really know any better.


This is interesting. oneswellfoop, thanks for the timely FPP on this. I'm actually in the middle of an editorial on why the emerging African market opportunity is going to drive the reinvention of marketing (as a discipline, as an industry) from the ground up, forcing them to question the underlying assumptions that provide the frame of reference for so many of the activities.

I know people who run the social media profiles of various celebs and try to plan these little events and they always fail cause they approach it like a media roll out and not someone interacting with thier fans or using blogging/twitter/whatever as anyone else would.

This captures why unless Marketing (with the capital M) stops to question these assumptions, its always going to fail, and/or, hit a wall with ROI on its spend.

Social media is one thing, and its definitely having an impact in mainstream consumer culture i.e. all of us here, discussing this. But when you take a frontier market which has never been essentially seen as a consumer market in its own right (unless you're raising funds for death, disease and destruction), one which has embraced mobile phones and all the free communication goodies online, you've got all the same problems of fragmentation and long tail bla bla that developed markets do with our online world, coupled with all the on the ground challenges of inadequate infrastructure and informal economies.

Change must happen to marketing, if they're survive and if the companies that rely on them are to survive. Markets are not only conversations (forgive me) but they are global and a tower of babel to boot.
posted by infini at 4:25 AM on April 20 [1 favorite]


Love the FPP title btw
posted by infini at 4:26 AM on April 20


From a deleted FPP that John Kennedy Toole Box made this morning, and far too good to miss:

In Which Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart Play The Newlywed Game.

It is wonderful.
posted by arcticseal at 6:07 AM on April 20 [5 favorites]


I've only ever seen the Hat-pics via Imgur and must say, while they're very entertaining, in that context I missed out on the fact it's for a show. Looking at the twitter, it clearly is with the hashtag each time, and I wonder how they set it up. We're they just doing this on off-times during rehersal?
posted by dabitch at 7:16 AM on April 20


Here's George Takei doing a bit of Twitter marketing. It feels a bit more clumsy, but still sincere. Most of his tweets are adorable so he gets a lot of good will. I suspect this kind of marketing works particularly well for theater, personality is such a big thing for the stage.
posted by Nelson at 8:30 AM on April 20


I don't understand after reading ADWEEK's article; was this a directed marketing campaign? Did some social media optimization weasel plan out all those tweets and photos? What made them wonderful is they truly seemed genuine, two famous fun actors enjoying their time together. I'd hate to think that was all scheduled by Bob in Marketing, although I guess it wouldn't surprise me.

I've spoken to some people who don't think there's a difference.

I'm not sure whether this some profound simulacra-and-simulation philosophy about truth in entertainment and the blurring of lines between an actor being on stage and off stage, or just cynicism about marketing.
posted by Mike1024 at 2:39 PM on April 21


Final X-Men: Days of Future Past Trailer Looks Absolutely Amazing
posted by homunculus at 12:30 AM on April 22


Okay, here is solid proof that ADWEEK doesn't 'get' Social any more than the NYPD does, in which it calls the Twitterati who 'hijacked' the PD's lame "Social PR" campaign "TROLLS".
posted by oneswellfoop at 6:43 PM on April 22


Yeah, not the right choice of words there. I called it File under: Really, you didn't see that coming? because obvious hashtag hijacking opportunity is obvious. Also, hilarious.
posted by dabitch at 10:28 PM on April 22


Patrick Stewart on His Craft, 21st-Century Science and Robot Ethics
posted by homunculus at 7:09 PM on April 28


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