Sony Pictures and Tier10 Marketing drove The Mighty Macs to become the top-grossing limited-release film last weekend, with a little help from Facebook and Rudy Ruettiger.
The Mighty Macs is based on the true story of the 1971 to 1972 Immaculata College women’s basketball team, which barely made the first-ever championship tournament in their sport, and went on to win that trophy, as well as the next two, followed by appearances in the three championship games after that, marking six title-game berths in a row.
Lacking the budget to mount a big television campaign, Tier10 Marketing targeted Facebook users who listed similar underdog-makes-good sports movies, such as Rudy and Hoosiers, among their favorites.
Tier10 Marketing owner Sean Wolfington added, “The Mighty Macs began as a limited release in less than 1,000 theaters, so we targeted Facebook users who live within driving distance of the theaters that are showing our film.”
Rudy, mentioned above, tells the story of Ruettiger, who beat the odds to become a walk-on player on the Notre Dame football team.
Ruettiger loved The Mighty Macs, calling it “the Rudy of this generation,” and volunteered to promote the film via a short video clip in which he was interviewed and said, “If you liked Hoosiers and Rudy, you will love The Mighty Macs.”
Facebook users who listed Rudy among their favorite films then received the video featuring Ruettiger and were encouraged to share it with their friends.
If you know what a Facebook user’s favorite films have been in the past, you can predict what their favorite films will be in the future. Most films are marketed through giant TV campaigns. Because this movie didn’t have the budget, we created a “Targeted TV” campaign that reached consumers who have the highest statistical probability of showing up at the theater for this type of inspirational sports film with a message they cannot deny.
We call the second half of the campaign “Social TV” because users who like the Ruettiger video can share it with all of their friends, and then the whole process repeats itself indefinitely. When Targeted TV becomes “Viral TV” with the click of a button, it is a very effective way to attract customers who have the highest statistical probability of going to see The Mighty Macs. Traditional TV can’t target to that level of detail today, and consumers can’t like and share commercials the way they can with videos online. This is the future of marketing. It’s amazing.
Readers: Would a video promoting a movie shared by a friend prompt you to consider seeing that film?