Say Hello to Inside Out

As a huge Disney lover I’m not ashamed to say that I’m very excited to see Disney Pixar’s newest film, Inside out. Inside Out is about a young girl named Riley who moves to San Francisco when her dad gets a new job. Like the rest of us Riley is guided by her emotions, which we get to see as characters in the movie. Joy , Fear, Sadness, Disgust, and Anger all operate the control center inside Riley’s mind and help her get through each day. (Disney, 2015)

In an article by Scott Mendelson from Forbes (2014), he says that the release of the new Pixar film is important because some critics feel that Pixar is in “some kind of sequel crazy rut” and Inside Out may be viewed as “somehow needing to save Pixar”. The company has still been “kicking box office and relative critical butt”, for example Brave won best-animated picture at the Oscars in 2012. (Forbes, 2014)

In his article, Mendelson discusses how the teaser trailer “is almost exclusively about reaffirming Pixar’s legacy” which is important if they feel fans aren’t as excited about new releases anymore. The trailer pulls at your emotions and nostalgia to get you hooked before you even know what the movie is about. (Forbes, 2014)

Before more trailers for the film were released Disney used its social networking sites to promote the movie. In 2012 Amanda Grant, director of distribution for Disney Interactive, shared some of Disney’s social media strategy with Giselle Abramovich for When asked about Disney’s approach to Facebook Grant explained that it is “about content sharing among [their] 13-and-older audience, making connections and sparking conversations”. She also shared that their engagement on Facebook focuses on reaching “families and Disney enthusiasts”, and sharing “content that [their] guests [will be] compelled to talk about and share” with others. (DigiDay, 2012)

What Disney did next for Inside Out goes right along with the strategy Grant shared with DigiDay. Before an official trailer for the film came out they used their Facebook page to introduce the audience to the film’s characters. From November 17th through the 21st (2014) short 20-second clips were put up on Facebook saying “Say Hello to ____” for each of the characters. All they do is show their emotion and what each of them look like. (Disney, 2014)

In addition to posting various videos on Facebook and encouraging their subscribers to share them, Inside Out also has its own Twitter page. In her interview, Grant expressed how “fortunate” Disney is to be able to “offer digital extensions [of] the magical experiences [their] guests love”. When translating that to social media they focus on “the types of creative expressions that people are most likely to connect with”. The film’s Twitter page does a good job of that, posting pictures with captions that go along with current events. For example, on the day of the super bowl the account was posting pictures and gifs relating the characters to what was going on in the game. (DigiDay, 2012)

The advertising campaign Disney has created is creative and unique. It is different from previous campaigns Disney has made and I think it is doing a great job at successfully using social media to Disney’s advantage.



Abramovich, G., & Grant, A. (2012, March 7). Inside Disney’s Social Strategy – Digiday. Retrieved from

Disney. (2015, January 31). Retrieved from

#InsideOut HQ. (2015, January 1). Retrieved from

Mendelson, S. (2014, October 2). ‘Inside Out’ Trailer Sells Pixar’s Emotional Legacy. Retrieved from


What’s Cooking on Social Media?

Noah Gittell from The Atlantic (2014) perfectly describes Jon Favreau’s small-scale independent film, Chef, when

he said that, “at its core, Chef is a story of a man whose life is ruined and then redeemed by social media”. Watching Chef can give us some valuable tips on how to use social media to your advantage.

Make sure you understand how different social media sites work.

Acclaimed chef Carl Casper’s ignorance on how Twitter works results in his downfall at the beginning of the film. After receiving a negative review from a food critic, he unknowingly tweets at him, when he thinks he is sending a direct message.

“@RamsyMichel You wouldn’t know a good meal if it sat on your face.”

Once the critic saw Carl’s tweet he retweeted it, resulting in over 100,000 people seeing their budding Twitter feud and Casper gaining over 2,000 followers in a day. His accidental tweet got him a lot of attention, and backlash from his boss. (Chef, 2014)

Once it’s on the Internet, it’s everywhere.

Carl’s confusion on how Twitter works and resulting feud with the critic leads to a public meltdown that ends up being recorded and going viral on YouTube. His ex-wife’s publicist in the film does a good job of explaining the effects of viral videos. She tells him that, “it’s out there! Even if I can persuade one site to pull out one clip, there are dozens of others” (Chef, 2014). Side X Side Creative (2014) tells us that social media means “you have to be more and more diligent about customer service and how you present yourself”. Even if you’re not on social media everyone else is and has the ability to see what’s on the Internet about you.

Use elements of social media to your advantage.

Even though Carl was getting attention for negative things, his son Percy found a way to make that negative into a positive. With over 20,000 followers Percy used Carl’s Twitter to announce that he was back and ready for business with a new food truck using the hashtag #ElJefeFoodTruck. Golden Speed SEO (2014) explained that the food truck team used location hashtags as well to make the food truck easy to find.

Be consistent and be frequent.

Percy began to branch out and set up profiles for the truck on other social media sites, such as Vine, after their first stop. Percy chose to use the same usernames and hashtags on all the different social media sites, which made it easier for followers to find them from site to site. In addition to being consistent in the social media profiles, Percy was also frequently updating the truck’s various sites. The updates allowed people to know where the truck was and create a connection with Carl. Side X Side Creative (2014) said that, “a good social media strategy […] should be about fostering [a] connection, […] not just about broadcasting your own message”.

Not only does Chef offer valuable lessons on using social media, it also showed Favreau how effective it is in reality.

The film was released on just six screens in May 2014, with almost primarily word-of-mouth marketing. There weren’t billboards or flashy commercials to advertise for it like big budget films. In an interview with Bloomberg West on June 9, 2014, Favreau said that the film was able to “bubble up” from 2 cities to over a thousand screens “all thanks to social media”. He explained that the use of social media is important in helping smaller budget events gain publicity, the “size of an audience in the independent film world really is impacted by social media”. (“Jon Favreau: I Fixed Wall Street Air Conditioners”, 2014).



Chef, a cooking movie with social media recipes. (2014, November 17). Retrieved from

Chef 2014, motion picture, Aldamisa Entertainment, Los Angeles, USA, J favreau.

Gittell, N. (2014, May 9). Finally, a Movie Portrays Social Media as Something Other Than Evil. Retrieved from

Jon Favreau: I Fixed Wall Street Air Conditioners. (2014, June 9). Retrieved from

Six social media lessons from the movie Chef. (2014, June 10). Retrieved from 

Online Pirating: HBO is Fine with that

Among the many things that the internet has given us, some more questionable than others, quick access to our favorite television shows has to be among the greatest. The act of tuning in to your favorite shows when they air on television is one that is slowly disappearing. More and more people turning to the internet for instant gratification. As most regular internet user will know; it is fairly easy to find most movies and television shows on various pirating sites. With the vastness of the internet it is more than likely that someone somewhere (a collector) has uploaded a digital copy of whatever popular media you could want. This poses an obvious threat to producers of entertainment because without proper compensation the shows and movies we love couldnt be made. Certain companies however, such as HBO is not too concerned with the illegal viewing of their shows. Choosing to look at the situation as a flattering one HBO has stated in multiple interviews that they are aware of the piracy problem and in some cases are more concerned about the quality of the download than the fact that it’s illegal. The fact that there are that many people out there who want to watch their show and refuse to wait isn’t the worst problem to have so HBO’s rather polite response is not too shocking. Game of Thrones- HBO’s most successful show to date, and the most pirated show of all time for the past two years is a shining example.  Show runners D.B. Weiss and David Benioff say they have mixed feelings because they know that the show ceases to exist is it doesn’t make money but knowing that there are so many fans out there wanting to watch the show so badly that they are just glad people are watching the show even if by unorthodox means. In the long run HBO knows that the more publicity the better and by letting the piracy issue stay in the public eye as well as leaving their show out there for the masses to see will do nothing but spread their brand. Another aspect of the piracy issue in other countries; online pirates offer the shows and movies much quicker than they are released in many countries. Who wouldn’t choose to get a movie for less money, months before it’s released in your country. With the internet forever growing only the future can tell what the networks and the rest of the entertainment world will decide to do. Game of Thrones however will most likely continue to rule the internet in illegal downloads for the near future.


Anchorman 2: Ron Burgundy Takes the Internet

When Will Ferrell as Ron Burgundy says, “I don’t know how to put this, but I’m kind of a big deal”, he isn’t kidding (Apatow and McKay, 2004). The first Anchorman film, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy was released in 2004 and made a gross profit of over 90 million dollars worldwide (IMDB, 2015). When the sequel to the popular film was due to come out in 2013 the team behind Anchorman wanted to show just how big a deal it was going to be.

To make sure the sequel was going to be a hit Paramount Pictures and digital focused shop Zemoga created an advertising campaign that became “a model for the future of movie marketing” (Heine, 2013). The social media marketing campaign spread throughout different channels across the Internet (and beyond). Ron Burgundy was everywhere in 2013: from Tumblr to Twitter, Facebook to Pinterest, and even North Dakota’s KXMB-TV News to an interactive exhibit at the Newseum in Washington DC (Maccabee, 2013).

What exactly was Burgundy doing to make such a scene?

Instead of doing the typical “one-size-fits-all” type of advertising, Paramount embraced the interactivity of Social Media and created a customizable campaign (Maccabee, 2013). By working with Zemoga, Paramount employed a “social media styled casting call” named “Join Ron’s News Crew”. It was a “talent-show like initiative” that encouraged people from around the world to audition for the positions of “anchor (#TeamRon), meteorologist (#TeamBrick), sportscaster (#TeamChamp), and live reporter (#Team Brian)”. Paramount released a video on YouTube featuring Ron himself looking for people to join his team on November 11, 2013 to launch the campaign. There was no prize for the winners except the 15 minutes of fame they may get from “big time YouTube views and social buzz”. (Heine, 2013)

Contestants were able to create their own characters based on the “Anchorman phenomenon”. Zemoga’s CEO, DJ Edgerton, explained, “one of the beautiful and disruptive components of social [media] is that the cream rises to the top. The creative director doesn’t decide what’s best at the end of the day-the audience does”. The competition included web voting and a panel of celebrity judges. The videos were promoted through Anchorman and Ron Burgundy’s “enormous” Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, YouTube, Instagram, Google+, and Pinterest followings. (Heine, 2013)

Paramount’s strategy for promoting the film revolved around: user-generated content, “Facebook and Twitter ads, and homepage takeovers on sites like Yahoo” and the Huffington Post to help increase the buzz. The campaigns such as “Join Ron’s News Crew” allowed the fans to create content and “essentially market for [Paramount]”, Megan Wahtera, Paramount’s svp of interactive marketing explained. Their job was just to “feed the frenzy”. (Heine, 2013)

The paid elements of the campaign were designed to “piggyback on the momentum” that was generated by

thousands of GIFS found on Tumblr, where at the time “Ron Burgundy” and “Anchorman” were some of the most popular search items in 2013.Paramount had struck the “deepest movie partnership” with Tumblr “to date” (November 2013) with the user generated GIFS and the movie’s own Tumblr filled with clips, GIFS, and memes that further encouraged fan interaction. (Heine, 2013)

David Hayes, lead in Tumblr’s brand focused department, explained that Hollywood is slowly coming to “employ user generated GIFS as branding vehicles”. While the memes may start on Tumblr, they eventually move over to Facebook and Twitter’s “broader platforms” which helps increase the reach of the advertisements. (Heine, 2013)

Besides their various contests and appearances on big social media sites the team wanted to be able to extend their campaign globally. Because comedy does not always translate well between cultures Ferrell and Adam McKay (co-writer with Ferrell) created customized videos for “far-reaching markets” like the U.K. and Australia. This included a video of Burgundy congratulating Irish actor Jamie Dornan for nabbing the lead in 50 Shades of Gray, and Ron’s “postelection musings on the presidential race” in Australia. (Gachman, 2013)

All the work Paramount and Zemoga put into the campaign was closely monitored to see how the public reacted to their various strategies. With the instant feedback social media gives they were able to see how the audience perceived trailers or extras. This enabled them to make changes and correct parts of the campaign as they went along. In fact, the data they collected led to the creation of the Scotch Toss, a mobile game that enabled social sharing and featured 300 voice overs by Ferrell as Burgundy egging the player on to flick ice cubes into his scotch. (Heine, 2013)

The extensive and hilarious social media marketing campaign to promote Anchorman 2 paid off with a gross profit of over 127 million dollars worldwide (IMDB, 2015). So the next time you’re trying to create an advertising campaign remember how well Ron Burgundy utilized social media because “60% of the time, it works every time”-Brian Fantana (Apatow and McKay, 2004).


Anchorman [Motion picture]. (2004). Universal Pictures Australasia [distributor] ;.

Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy. (2015, January 1). Retrieved from

Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues. (2015, January 1). Retrieved from

Gachman, D. (2013, December 11). What The ‘Anchorman 2’ Campaign Can Teach Us About Social Media Marketing. Retrieved from

Heine, C. (2013, November 24). Will Ferrell’s Anchorman 2 Is Changing the Way Movies Are Marketed. Retrieved from

Maccabee, P. (2013, December 19). FIVE CLASSY SOCIAL MEDIA LESSONS FROM ANCHORMAN 2’S RON BURGUNDY. Retrieved from


Indiegogo and Kickstarter: Crowd Based Funding

Making movies costs a lot of money. This statement is an obvious one and it begs the questions; how can independent artists who are trying to get off the ground raise funds for projects? For the last few years film enthusiasts and aspiring oscar winners have been using crowdfunding sites. A crowdfunding sites helps raise awareness about projects and serves as a source to donate campaign funds. Kickstarter and Indiegogo, among others, help users build campaigns for their projects, spreads the word through social media sites attracting the attention of journalists and bloggers as well as potential contributors. Both sites encourage using social media including Twitter and Facebook to maximize reach.

Tips to increase social media:

  • Respond quickly to all messages and comments
  • Don’t over contact or spam followers
  • Continue to disseminate new Information
  • Put a personal touch to your campaign

Funding for both sites is set up with a goal in mind. Choose a fundraising goal and let the cash (hopefully) roll in. The biggest difference in sites is that Kickstarter does not allow you to keep your money unless you reach your ultimate campaign goal. Indiegogo, however lets you keep your donations even if you do not meet your top goal. either way both sites are great for fundraising as well as learning how to market yourself. Once your name is out there and people know who is behind a project they are more likely to donate. Having proof online of the money you’ve raised is validation others can see. According to crowdfunding is a booming market that is doubling in size every year. While Kickstarter is mainly for creative projects and does not fund business or charities Indiegogo can be used for just about anything. This much broader approach draws a lot of attention but in a wider range of markets where as Kickstarter will keep your contributing pool focused on creative projects.


Running Your Campaign. (2015, January 1). Retrieved from

Barnett, C. (2013, May 8). Top Ten Crowdfunding Websites for Fundraising. Retrieved from

Everything was Awesome at the Oscars

Did John Travolta make you uncomfortable again while watching the Oscars? The 87th Academy Awards were held on February 22nd at the Dolby Theater in sunny (rainy that day) Hollywood, California. This year Hollywood’s biggest night was hosted by Barney Stinson himself, Neil Patrick Harris. Harris had big shoes to fill following last year’s host, Ellen DeGeneres. I’m sure you remember Ellen’s Twitter breaking selfie that has over 3 million retweets, her pizza delivery, and maybe even when she came out dressed as Glinda the good witch. Many people do, and her hilarious hosting abilities brought ABC 45 million viewers making the 86th Oscars the most watched nonsports telecast since Friends’ finale in 2004. (Hollywood Reporter)Screen Shot 2015-03-04 at 4.21.58 PM The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is the non-profit organization that puts on the event each year. The success of last year’s show made the Academy want to match its viewership but producers feared that ratings would drop sharply from last year.

There are several reasons for this fear:

-Less blockbuster hits were nominated for Oscars this year.

A December 18th report from a member of the academy said “predicted nominations focus on art films rather then major blockbusters that have mass appeal”. People are sometimes less inclined to watch the award show if they don’t know who or what is being nominated and this year popular stars such as Jennifer Lawrence and Leonardo Dicaprio couldn’t be found on the nominee list. (Hollywood Reporter)

-They have to compete with other television events. Sunday night is a big night for TV.

The Academy was going up against very popular shows such as The Walking Dead, Downton Abbey, and Girls. (New York Post)

-Neil Patrick Harris only has 12.7 million Twitter followers.

This fact may seem like the least of their worries, but surprisingly it was one of the biggest. Ellen DeGeneres, a syndicated talk show host, has 37.3 million Twitter followers. Every time she aired a show or went on one of her various social media sites she had the opportunity to promote the event. This gave the show a lot more publicity then Harris ever could because the reach of Ellen’s fan base travels further.

In response to their concern, the producers made a plan to allocate $5.5 million toward a new social media heavy campaign to keep the ratings up ( Most of that would be focused on cable advertising but $315,000 would be spent on social media. Once the show begins $73,000 would focus on Facebook and Twitter and $37,000 would go to Instagram. (Hollywood Reporter)

Once the show began, the performances and winners generated a lot of buzz on social media sites. Using hashtags such as #Oscars or #Oscars2015 people all over the world could join together in a conversation about the best and worst moments during the show. This year there were many opportunities for the audience to use the hashtag, which helped bring more fans to the viewing party.
Here are the 2015 Academy Awards, as told by Twitter: Screen Shot 2015-03-04 at 5.23.53 PM Screen Shot 2015-03-04 at 5.38.05 PM Screen Shot 2015-03-04 at 5.38.46 PMScreen Shot 2015-03-04 at 5.39.13 PMScreen Shot 2015-03-04 at 5.39.40 PMScreen Shot 2015-03-04 at 5.34.31 PMScreen Shot 2015-03-04 at 5.40.07 PMScreen Shot 2015-03-04 at 5.40.50 PMScreen Shot 2015-03-04 at 5.36.01 PMScreen Shot 2015-03-04 at 5.28.59 PMScreen Shot 2015-03-04 at 5.40.31 PMScreen Shot 2015-03-04 at 5.27.59 PMScreen Shot 2015-03-04 at 5.28.11 PMScreen Shot 2015-03-04 at 5.41.16 PMScreen Shot 2015-03-04 at 5.32.13 PMScreen Shot 2015-03-04 at 5.51.08 PM Resources: Atkinson, C. (2015, January 7). Academy to launch $5.5M social media campaign for Oscars. Retrieved from Kilday, G. (2015, January 7). Oscars: Academy Report Reveals $5.5 Million Plan to Boost TV Ratings. Retrieved from Konerman, J. (2015, January 8). 2015 Academy Awards Show Plans $5 Million Social Campaign. Retrieved from


Marvel vs DC: Shared Universes

In the last 7 years hollywood has been following a trend that began in 2008 with Iron man. Robert Downey Jr. became the first in a shared universe of superheroes. Next Marvel came out with Captain America: The First Avenger and Thor each receiving their own franchises and sequels, by 2011 we had five movies with three main characters in the Marvel cinematic universe. In the summer of 2012 The Avengers made cinema history by teaming up all three title characters in addition to some new heroes in a single movie. This new idea of having multiple storylines that culminate in a big event had never been done on the big screen. Since The Avengers Marvel has added Guardians of the Galaxy and The Avengers: Age of Ultron will be coming out later this year.

More recently Marvel has announced nine movies for their schedule. Starting with Captain America: Civil War in 2016 and ending with Avengers: Infinity War Part 2 in 2019. The list also includes the third installment in the Thor franchise and the sequel to the 2014 hit Guardians of the Galaxy. Along with the sequels some new heroes will be introduced including Benedict Cumberbatch in Doctor Strange (2016), Chadwick Boseman in Black Panther (2017), as well as the first female superhero to have her own movie, Captain Marvel (2018). Now to the DC side of things.(Yaniz, 2015)

Witnessing Marvel’s success with the shared universe approach to filmmaking DC, the company that owns the rights to Superman and Batman and the rest of the Justice League, quickly got the ball rolling on their shared universe. Publishing a film schedule through 2020 introducing Batman, WonderWoman, Aquaman along with other DC heroes into the universe started by Man of Steel in 2013. Eleven movies are slated from Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad in 2016 followed by:

  • Justice League: Part 1 (2017)
  • Wonder Woman (2017)
  • Aquaman (2018)
  • Flash (2018)
  • Justice League: Part 2 (2019)
  • Shazam (2019)
  • Green Lantern (2020)
  • Cyborg (2020)

DC has the advantage of learning from Marvel’s mistakes but must set their shared universe apart from Marvel’s. A task which might prove difficult given the headstart and experience Marvel has already gained. Only time will tell. (Dyce, 2015)



Robert,Yaniz Jr. (2015, February 15). Samuel L. Jackson on Marvel vs DC Movie Competition. Retrieved from:

Andrew Dyce. (2015, January 17). How DC Movie Universe Can Avoid Marvel Studios Mistakes. Retrieved from: