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» Online Strategy » The New Movie “2012” Trailer Tells You To Google For No Apparent Reason!

The New Movie “2012” Trailer Tells You To Google For No Apparent Reason!


Hello, I want to be very clear that this blog post represents my professional opinion based on an “online marketing strategy”. Nothing more. Nothing less. I completely understand that the goal of the trailer was to draw attention to the stories and myths of 2012, however, in my Paid Search Marketing opinion, I think there should have bee more reference to the Movie through PPC Efforts (aka within Google’s sponsored links section) when the initial trailer was released to the public back in 2008. Sony Pictures has since then embraced Search Marketing more and providing better Viral and other Social Media Strategies as the movie gets closer and closer to it’s premier date.

When you visit the Apple Movie Trailers website and choose to watch the Trailer for the New Movie 2012, at the end of the clip it tells you to “Google 2012 To Find Out The Truth” OK, so when I Googled 2012 I am a little confused as to what to look for, especially since there is no organic or paid listing that is part of a coordinated strategy with the movie trailer. If the goal of this tactic is to simply get people interested in what 2012 means, then I think they get the “gist” of it. But, when you tell people to Google something, they are expecting to see a authoritative website which will tell them the truth about 2012, not a random organic or even paid listing trying to sell Food Storage supplies.

Since this movie is about how to prepare Six Billion People that the world’s gonna end, I would, at the very least, expect Columbia pictures or the people working for Roland Emmerich to create an online marketing strategy which would INDEED tell the people about the movie. It’s one of those obvious, oxy-moronic things if you ask me.

So, what happens when you Google “2012”. You would be surprised.

If you look at the screen shot, of the (6) six listings, there is only one reference to the movie, but it not coming from the movie itself. A random IMDB listing is the best they can do?? Hmmn, I wonder if they are using SERP tools to see how many people are actually Googling 2012. Well, I have a prepared a very small PPC Strategy that Columbia Pictures, Roland Emmerich and even John Cusack would entertain

The Duh Moment – How About a PPC Ad for the movie 2012 and maybe a Website? Just a suggestion
I know that online marketing can be complex at times, but what the heck. Each movie-goer pays like $20 per ticket, they could at least afford $1.00 CPC or less.

Small, yet detailed PPC Strategy

  • Use a Long-Tail Keyword in the Trailer (Make the Googler work a little for that information. Try something like “2012 trailer, apple 2012 trailer, etc…” Don’t they want to know how many people connected the dots????
  • Keep the flow with similar Ad/Creative: Say something like “enjoyed the Trailer? click here for more information about the movie…..” C’mon, it’s not that hard.
  • Keyword Craziness. People who are interested in this movie, will search of many areas of the movie. Such as “John Cusack, Roland Emmerich, 2012, 2021, end of the world, etc..) Make it easy……
  • Web Analytics the living crap out of the web page. Have some sort of conversion based page to track something. Captures emails to let people know of a new trailer, where the movie is released, etc…

In conclusion:
I am just making a suggestion to Columbia Pictures to think about using PPC as a method to continue to  drive movie sales or interest in a movie. Paid Search has and will always evolve as the major player in connecting the offline and the online consumer. They spend millions making a movie, and spend pennies trying to promote it online. We live in an age where if you want to know something, you GOOGLE IT. If you tell your viewers to Google something within a trailer, you better have something for them to look at, or they might just disappear from the Movie Theater.

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12 Responses to "The New Movie “2012” Trailer Tells You To Google For No Apparent Reason!"

  1. Kees says:

    God… you just don’t understand, do you. They want you to search the 2012 phenomenon NOT find stuff about the movie.
    I think we will see a lot more marketing related sites appearing in the months leading up to the movie, but really they just want you to get excited about the topic itself. Which to me is quite interesting. So I say: well done!

  2. Greg says:

    Kees, thank you for the comment, but I am actually surprised by your explanation that this is “ok”. I honestly felt short handed by the “The user experience” of seeing a dramatic movie trailer, and I expected it to continue when the movie tells you to Google for more. So, in terms of a strategy tactic, I give it a 3 out of 10. Those 7 points could of been achieved if they had a PPC Ad, as well as a landing page which describes the 2012 event. In search engine marketing it’s all about being the authority, and if they are making a movie about 2012, I expected them to be the #1 source for this historical prophecy.
    Greg

  3. Sam Haldeman says:

    Just like the first comment, mine is the same… the entire point of this viral marketing if for people to get enthused about the 2012 idea not the movie 2012. If people are interested in the doomsday scenarios to a fever pitch from informing themselves this will do much for for the movie’s success than many of the search suggestions the author proposes. People will want to see a recreation of the scenarios they’ve been reading about much more than “John Cusack 2012”.

  4. eric says:

    I agree with all of this.
    I saw this a few weeks ago and thought the same – why not buy some ads or whathaveyou.
    Then I realized that they are just trying to get people interested and informed on what the year stands for, etc. and not the movie per se.
    What they SHOULD have done was set up a fake site about the year and it’s mayan history and then paid for the links to drive people to that – a site that explored the history in detail and made you crap-your-pants-scared and interested.

  5. occhiblu says:

    There are conspiracy theories that hold that a lack of information on Google means that the government has suppressed the information. I would assume that’s what the “Hint: Nothing there!” is playing on. The *lack* of info is exactly what they’re playing up.

  6. Robert says:

    Personally I think it’s a massive mistake. They could at least cash in on the “viral” market that they have created. I mean… when was the last time Microsoft got into the marketing business only to allow all those spent dollars go to marketing Linux? Oh wait, that was the PC vs Mac thing… 😉
    While the idea might be that people get searching, they really should have made a site that was the hub of a search. Some place that would provoke questions that the visitor would have to research to find out more.
    Then again with everyone telling the audience to search online, perhaps their *hint* of “Nothing there” is the punchline as they build up an interest and then offer nothing – kinda lame, but then again so too was the Y2K Bug! 🙂

  7. andrewstras says:

    Nice post. I agree 100%. here’s some more info on watch movies online

  8. Unico says:

    Hate to be an ass but cant you see they say to search so you can learn about the mayan prophecy. Not so you can look up the movie. Thats all they want. They dont want you to walk into the movie and start bitchin as to why they depict that as the end of the world out of no where.

  9. Alex says:

    You guys seriously! Dont Get it! Search 2012 to educate yourself about the theory, which will then get u thinkin of it, interest of it now when the movie comes out. You gonna go see it, because u probably spoke to ur friends about it and etc…. Would it have been nice for them to have a site that was built by them but has no evidence to be connected wit them? sure yeah that would be nice. But why do that if there have been real people posting about it for years.
    People tend to get scared when a large amount of people believes it. so me reading shitty sites about it make me believe, shit its true… its my opinion. plus why pay to get a site done, just use whats already out there.
    The Windows commercial to not promote linux…. OK well Linux is an OS, Windows is an OS. Competition. These sites about 2012 are not competing! they not gonna release a movie about 2012, they write about it.

  10. Manda says:

    So maybe none of you understand the point of viral marketing…
    Viral marketing is traditionally aimed at hardcore fanatics – Xbox, The Dark Knight, and so on. It’s not geared toward the general public, so the marketing takes a little effort to find. *That’s the point.*
    If you’d taken a little time to actually look at the paid ads that came up when you Googled, you’d have found the Institute for Human Continuity – which is actually a Sony-owned page that contains a lottery. You put your name in, you get a number, and you wait to see what to do with the number. It creates suspense as participants wait to find out what the next piece is and what the point of their lottery numbers are.
    If everyone were participating, it wouldn’t be “underground” and it wouldn’t be as appealing to those who are playing the game, so to speak. That’s why viral ads are unique – the masses have trailers and commercials, movie fanatics have this.

  11. Mark says:

    The point is, you dont prepare 6 billion people for the end of the world, there’s no information out there, it will happen and you’ll have no warning
    You can argue about whether that’s the best marketing strategy, but that in itself generates a buzz

  12. Steven H. Taylor says:

    I agree with the original post, except that the viral was actually there. Apparently overlooked by all.
    By now the search results are quite different and they include http://www.whowillsurvive2012.com which is the official movie site as top result, but the site appearing as second (sponsored) link in the Google results above, http://www.InstituteForHumanContinuity.org (with a large question mark next to it) is the obvious viral site. The site is still online and now branded as “part of the 2012 movie experience”.

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