As it can be seen from the table, I posted all of the pre-production information within one month. Although this was spread out throughout the month, ideally, I should have posted more content over the months from September through to December. However, as this content was posted in November 2018, it was before the research I took out in February 2019 when I was advised to create a schedule. As a result of this, I have learnt from the mistake of only posting in the one month and as it can be seen from the table, I had improved this throughout production. I didn't have a lot of content to post in the January as all of the test shoots and work towards the project was completed in the previous unit which ended in December. We filmed in February so inevitably this would have had a number of posts about the shoot days. The longest time amount of time I had to market the film was in the post-production stage. Once I handed over the edit, I was able to focus completely on the social media and other marketing strategies I found through my research. As a result of this, the post-production stage is where the marketing schedule is longer. I also had more content to post at this point during the project because we had shot all of our BTS photos and production stills, and we were working on the poster. Although I spent more time marketing the film during the post-production stage than any of the other stages, this was expected because according to my previous research (blog post - Development of Fine Cut and Poster), the producer may "market...and generate a buzz for the project" (StudioBinder, n/d) during the post-production stage of a film, as well as overseeing the edit.
Introducing the crew
I posted individual photos of the production team consisting of Alex, Katie and myself during the pre-production unit. However, I hadn't considered the idea of introducing the crew to our followers until I developed my research into marketing. As a result of this, I simply updated the posts to explain a little bit more about the production team.
|Alex's crew introduction post|
I included a bit of background information about each of us, such as the roles in film that we are passionate about and our experience throughout our 3 years at University. I was inspired to include this information from A Christmas Cracker's social media. As I explained in the research post, their posts are more posed and edited than ours, but I was still able to take inspiration from their captions.
|Katie's introduction post|
|My introduction post - written by Alex|
My introduction post was similar to both Alex and Katie's, however, I found out in my research that because we are creating a comedy our posts should reflect this and be light-hearted. As a result of posting it on Valentines day, Alex made up a line linking the post to the day. Silly lines like this are a good way to keep our posts amusing for our followers. This may ultimately reflect the comedy that we are creating.
Introducing the cast
I first considered this idea during my research into different marketing techniques. Similarly to the crew introduction posts, I found cast introduction posts on A Christmas Cracker's social media. Again, I thought this was a good idea to inform our followers as to who is playing the different roles. Relating back to my research into The Laughing Mirror Theatre, I noticed that they try to include their followers in their posts. I also felt that relating the posts to the audience was a good way to write amusing captions for our photos.
Once we had finished shooting I was the rough cut editor, and as a result of this all my time was put into making the edit resemble the final film as much as I could ready for Katie to take over. Due to this, I felt that it was appropriate to use the social media scheduling app I researched into during the pre-production package, Buffer. When I first looked into the app I was sceptical if I would actually use it or not. However, I found it a very helpful tool when I was completely focusing on the rough cut. Using Buffer meant that I was able to schedule future Instagram and Facebook posts to share automatically on the day and time that I set. Once I discovered the idea of posting cast introduction alerts to introduce our followers to our cast members, I scheduled them to share one day after another for 6 days. By doing this, I could concentrate on the edit and passing it over to Katie, while keeping our followers entertained at the same time.
|Using Buffer to schedule posts|
I initially experimented with buffer for these posts to make sure they went out everyday at the same time. As this worked really well, I will use this technique to schedule the countdown posts as these will be posted after our deadline. The posts scheduled for the 'countdown until film release' are shown below. I have decided to start the countdown 5 days before our release date (Thursday 30th May). I initially thought of posting individual cast photos again like I did for the introductions, however, as I have done this before I decided against it. I was also inspired by the idea of putting up large bold numbers to signify a countdown from my research into A Christmas Cracker. Their numbers leading down until the release of their crowd funder are also designed to match their branding. I felt strongly about our numbers matching our branding as well. I felt that the countdown would make sense to follow the tone of the poster. As a result of this, I placed the countdown numbers over the top of the same background we used for the poster. Keeping with the tone of the poster, I kept the font - 'Avenir Next' in heavy. I didn't feel the need to put the numbers in a shade of red, although this is our main colour because it wouldn't have matched the poster as much. The branding between the poster and the countdown numbers flow better with these colours than if I had changed it to red.
I realise that if these were to post in the order I have scheduled them, it would overtake the social media with numbers. Another point that I took from A Christmas Cracker is that they posted additional photos in between their countdown to spread the numbers out slightly. I will ensure I post an extra photo a day of promo photos, allowing the numbers to be split across the social media platforms evenly.
Keeping the social media up to date
Apart from the tactical posts which add to marketing VET-MAN such as the crew and cast introduction posts, I had to constantly post photos and statuses to keep our followers generally up-to-date and interested in our project. When I was giving feedback on the poster, I didn't think the comic strip was suitable as it was difficult to see the photos behind the characters. It also look the focus off the characters which was not what we wanted for a promotional poster. Nevertheless, I came up with the idea of using the comic strip photos for a spoiler without context post. These posts give off spoilers but without any context so the viewers don't understand them until they've seen the film. This works well with this photo collage because if you don't know the story of VET-MAN then it would be difficult to understand what an owl, Tim with drugs, Tim with a mask and hoodie, the vet van, Tess and Sheila all mean. Once the viewers see the film, the individual photos will start to make sense.
I have decided to use Twitter mainly for research, for example, I found The Laughing Mirror Theatre on the platform, however, I have been continuing with Tim's personal Twitter account that I created in the pre-production stage. I wasn't confident that this marketing method would be effective until Oscar suggested creating an account in a character's perspective and I explained that I had already started it. I struggled with Tim's Twitter account in the previous unit as we didn't have a lot of content that I was able to use on the platform. However, now we have captured our footage and gained promo photos, I have been able to personalise the Twitter to him. This is essential if I want the account to look like his personal page. I started by changing the profile picture to one of him with an owl. This adds to the authenticity of him being a vet, I also changed the cover photo to the van as if it is his pride and joy.
|Tim's Twitter page|
I tweeted, re-tweeted and followed accounts to try and make the page as believable as I could. I kept it all relevant to animals, apart from the odd tweet about football. I thought it would be amusing to hear about his animal experiences and then a random football tweet appears. My aim for the Twitter page is to keep it as comedic and light-hearted as I can in order to help bring the tone across of our film. I enjoyed writing these because of the light-heartedness, it was amusing to think of odd things to write about.
|Tim's Twitter page|
Screen grabs of VET-MAN's Instagram page:
Screen grabs of VET-MAN's Facebook page:
I have previously described the stages the poster went through before getting to the final one. However, sharing the poster with our followers is another marketing technique. I wanted to find out how posters can be an effective marketing tool and I found out that we need to get peoples attention with the poster as this will bring in new viewers / followers, it is essential to "ensure that your designs are alluring, but simple. Don't use too many fonts or colours in one design" (PrintPlace, n/d). Alex did a good job with this as I believe the colours and positioning of the characters are alluring / interesting, he also didn't use too many fonts as the main text is the title, and the secondary text is the movie credits at the bottom of the poster. I also found out to make sure that the "company's colours and logo are captured within your poster design, but don't overdo it. Too much could take away from the company's message" (PrintPlace, n/d). There are a couple of colours in the poster but not too many, the main colours being red, grey, white and dark blue. I believe these colours all complement each other and bring across our branding well. The previous poster example with the blood splatter across the background may have been too much and taken the focus off the characters as I explained on the development of the poster, and therefore, it may have taken away from the message of the film.
While Alex created the poster, I had the chance to give advice and feedback to make sure the poster was bright and bold and matched the rest of our social media pages. It was inevitable that the colour red was going to be involved somewhere in the poster as this is our main colour throughout the project. However, we knew the colour shouldn't cover too much of the poster and make it overbearing for our followers. Throughout the project, we have only featured a small amount of the colour and combined it with whites, greys and black, keeping it subtle. I also made sure that the poster was created with our social media platforms in mind to keep it matching the rest of our content. The poster has a natural feel to it with the photos of Tim and Luke, instead of making it as one large graphic. The natural feel relates to our filming style and promo photos, and therefore, the look of the social media pages.
A different approach to marketing
After establishing the channel that VET-MAN suits the most, I decided to look into their adverts to see how they market their television shows, with the hope of some inspiration of different ways to promote VET-MAN to our audience. I first looked into Channel 4 adverts to see their layout, I already imagined that the logo would be a prominent part of the advert, which it is looking at the two adverts below. I have also noticed along with the logo, the only thing that is written on the advert is the television show name, genre, time and date. Another thing that stood out were the colours. The colours match between the writing and logo. The orange in the advert below stands out more than the blue. Although the blue writing and logo don't stand out as much, another colour may not have suited the advert. I will aim to make mine stand out in a similar way as the first advert, however, I will make sure I pick a colour that represents the film.
|Channel 4 advertising examples|
After looking into the advertising examples above, I decided to create my own. I picked a shoot photo which we took with the aim of it becoming a promo photo. I picked the larger photo below out from the other's below as it was positioned nicely. There is an even amount of background and characters / van, whereas the first photo below had too much background. I believe that the positions the characters are standing in give off their personalities well. Tim looks authoritative and like someone you'd look up to, and Luke's smile looks quite innocent, as if he's excited and doesn't realise whats about to come. Similarly to the poster, this suits the characters and the tone of the film.
|Other potential promo photos|
I tried to position the red 4 logo in different places around the photo but it looked best in the bottom left hand corner. When it was on the right side against the side of the van, there was too much going on and the red colour didn't stand out as well. It stands out nicely in front of the dark background. Ultimately the white logo looked the best, however, to comply with Channel 4's advertising I had to make the logo match the writing. I chose red as it has been the main colour throughout our branding, from initial presentations, through to the final poster. However, the red we have been using is a brighter shade but to match the writing on the advert I had to change the red slightly to a softer shade. Nevertheless, the red is still significant in the progression of VET-MAN.
|Our main colour shown throughout the project|
Below is the final Channel 4 advert I created for VET-MAN. I researched into the Channel 4 font and as it is bespoke I couldn't find a template anywhere. As a result of this, I had to find a font that was similar to it - 'veranda'. I believe that my Channel 4 advert looks quite effective and it looks like something that could be on the channel. I have followed the guidelines of the other Channel 4 adverts and I think that the bold colour match helps the advert stand out. Ideally, the shade of red in the 'VM' on the van would match the logo and writing so the shades matched throughout the advert. However, the photo made the red 'V' have a lighter shade to what it was in person. I didn't think this shade represented the film well. As it can be seen above the red we have been using throughout the project is darker and bolder than this. Instead, I matched the writing and the logo and didn't match the 'V'. Nevertheless, as shown in the above adverts, the main feature of the advert is that the logo and writing match which is what I made priority when creating the VET-MAN advert.
|VET-MAN Channel 4 advert|
The first one I saw was advertising for Location, Location, Location. This was a new series starting soon on Channel 4. Throughout my research into Channel 4's marketing, their branding all follows a pattern. Their branding is made up of blocks with straight lines. The red 4 logo above is their current logo and that is made up of red and transparent blocks and lines. Again with the red and white writing, I noticed that the advert writing is usually in a box with straight lines. Thinking back to the Location, Location, Location advert, the time, date and name of the show is written in the white blocks. I replicated this for VET-MAN as shown below. I kept to the branding of Channel 4 while changing the time, date and name. I also changed 'New Series' to 'New Show' as we aren't creating a series, only the one episode. I thought this looked really effective and as if it could be on Channel 4. This method with the while blocks would appear at the end of the trailer or extract of the film.
Next, I saw another couple of adverts that were more focused on the colour of the advert. They didn't have a clip or still of the film underneath the advertisement, just a coloured background. Both adverts below had an animation to them but the animation became still once the text came onto the screen. Again, these are advertising brand new shows starting on Channel 4 so I felt it was necessary to replicate their branding and marketing technique for VET-MAN.
I started by creating a variety of 3D rectangles of different sizes, some with a pointed edge and some with a flat edge and scattered them accordingly to the advert for D-Day (below). I tried to match them as best as I could to make a suitable replica. Once I had set the look of the advert similar to Channel 4, I had to personalise it to VET-MAN. I decided to change the coloured blocks to the same shade of red that I used for the first advert I created (matching the shade of red from the writing to the logo). By doing this I am keeping our colour scheme throughout VET-MAN's marketing. In the original advert, the show was sponsored by a make of car. I replicated this by having the sponsored section but put the UCA logo to show that we are sponsored by the University. I think this looked effective and authentic as if it could be shown on Channel 4. Again, I promoted the show to start at 10.00pm so it is after the watershed. However, the advert for it would be clean so this could be shown at any point throughout the day.
The next few adverts I saw were similar to the D-Day one above, but the animation just finished in a different position on the screen. I also noticed how Channel 4 uses their colours. The advert for First Dates had a pop of colour to reflect the tone of the show. Using the teal and pink colours together made me think of fun, excitement and adventure which is what First Dates is about. The synopsis for the show on IMDb is described as a 'dating show with a twist that takes advantage of modern forms of dating'. The colours they have used in the advert for First Dates would usually clash, so it can be said that they've taken a twist on standard colour rules and emphasised the modernness of the show. The next advert I saw was for Chimerica which is a completely different genre to First Dates. Although it is obvious that these are completely different shows, the tone of the show can be seen from the colour choices alone. Chimerica is a drama with the IMDb synopsis describing the show with the word 'mysterious'. As I said previously, the different tone of these two brand new shows are represented by the colour palette in their adverts. I described First Dates colour palette as fun, exciting and adventurous, however, I could describe Chimerica's black and grey coloured palette as dark and mysterious. From this I have learnt that the audience can learn a lot from just the colour palette of an advert.
I decided to create both. I started with brighter colours that usually wouldn't be put together, inspired by First Dates. I decided to go for a bright blue and a slightly duller shade of red. Similarly to the previous advert, I created red blocks but I put these on a light blue background. I think they represent the comedic tone of VET-MAN well. To me, the red and the blue signify superhero colours. As we wanted to give off a superhero look to the poster, I think these colours are suitable for the VET-MAN advert. I kept to the same day and time for the film to be shown - Thursday 10.00pm, as we are releasing the film on a Thursday (30th May). Hypothetically, this advert would appear on the week leading up to the release date (week commencing Monday 27th).
Subsequently, I created another advert but with a slightly darker colour palette. I wanted to include the colour red as this is the main colour in our branding throughout the whole project, but this time I made the background red rather than the blocks. I brought the brightness of the red down compared with the red on the blue advert to keep with the dark tone. I then made the blocks into a shade of grey as this colour is also quite prominent in our colour palette as shown in our poster. The colour of the text was next. The black in the blue advert suited well, however, the black text on the red advert looked a bit too dark as it wasn't clear to see. As a result of this, I decided to use white so the text was clear. However, I didn't use a bright white as we want a dark tone to the advert, I used a darker shade of white / light shade of grey so it didn't look too different to the general look of the poster. I was inspired by this from Chimerica's advert as they also use white text, but it's not a bright white, it's more of an off white in keeping with the general dark tone of the advert. I believe that both adverts look effective and authentic. I think they both also give off the different tones that the film could be perceived by - comedic and dark.
As well as advertising on television, Channel 4 have their own catch up service online. I decided to try our advert on there as this required the promo photo to be in a different format. These adverts are still landscape, however, a lot smaller in size as they are advertising more programmes than just the one on the computer screen. Throughout my advertising examples I have kept the same photo of both Tim and Luke in front of the van. This is because the adverts I have been manipulating are the same layout, just different sizes. If I came across a marketing technique on the channel that required a portrait photo, I would change the promo photo to a close up of one of the characters. However, I have not needed to do this.
To create the two adverts below for the catch up service, I inserted our promo photo and found a font most similar to the Channel 4 font already on the screen. As I said previously, the font is bespoke and therefore, not available for me to download. As a result of this, I found the font 'Trebuchet' which looked the most authentic for something on the Channel 4 catch up website. This was a simple advert to make and I believe it the look of the chosen promo photo looks really effective on the screen, it has a realistic feel to it due to our natural shooting techniques during filming. I believe this looks authentic next to the Hollyoaks advert as this show also has a natural aesthetic to it.
|VET-MAN advert on Channel 4's catch up service - 4oD|
I was advised by Emily to advertise VET-MAN with street marketing, for example, printing images / illustrations onto lamp posts or coffee cups, hiring out a room and projecting bits of the film on the wall. These were all well thought through and creative ideas but unfortunately due to our small budget, I wouldn't have been able to do the projections or hiring any spaces for exhibitions. As a result of this, I decided to try the more cost-effective marketing method that she suggested, such as printing an illustration onto a sticker and sticking it in locations that are popular with our target audience. Emily offered to create some illustrations for us so I set her up with that. She suggested getting some adhesive paper to print the illustrations out on so I can easily create the stickers to help advertise VET-MAN in other ways than social media. She explained that she was going to put our main hashtag on the illustrations and then ideally, the public will go to our hashtag and then find our Instagram account. Once they find this, it'll be easy to find the Facebook account and keep up-to-date with our film. After a few weeks she had created a couple of illustrations for me to print out. I can also post these on social media if I wanted. Below are the illustrations she made. I advised her on a couple of things but apart from that I let her create what she wanted. I sent her the story synopsis so she had an idea of what happens in the film, I sent over the poster so she could see our colour scheme and I explained that our main colour was red. As she suggested, she included the #vetman so if any members of public were to look up the hashtag they should come across our Instagram, and subsequently the rest of our social media posts and platforms.
When I received these illustrations back from her, I was impressed. I thought they looked really effective and the shade of red gives a good pop of colour. The red and black can also represent the dark comedy side to the film. I went back to Emily with this and asked if she thought I should put some more information with them for people to read, but she said the idea of these is so they just have the hashtag and then people will find out more information about the film once they find the hashtag on social media. Emily next suggested finding different locations in which to place the stickers, she advised something metal such as a lamp post but she said to be as creative as I can. I started thinking of places that are popular for 16-30 year olds to visit. I placed these stickers in a variety of different places, such as my local high street, a shopping centre and on some clothing recycling bins. I felt that anywhere to do with fashion would be popular with younger people, especially at the weekend. I also placed some stickers on bins at the beach, as we had a spout of good weather at the time I was looking for creative locations. I also placed them outside my local cinema and down one of the main high streets where younger people like to go in the evenings. I found a couple of lamp posts and bins that already had some stickers on them so I added mine to it. Some of my locations are shown in the photos below:
|Recycling bin & high street|
I posted a variety down the high street, at the promenade along the beach and at the shopping centre, rather than just one or two. I feel that these will appeal to more people if they see them scattered in the area. They may ignore the first one or two but may become interested in what the sticker is about after realising they're scattered everywhere. I wasn't sure whether this would work or not but some time after I distributed the stickers we had additional followers on our Instagram page. In the end we had a total of 164 followers when before this we had about 30. Subsequently, we had more comments and more people found the Facebook page. This has proved that this marketing technique works, the stickers are small but effective.
|Shopping centre & high street|
- The marketing schedule helped me see where I was stronger in posting on the social media and where I was weaker. I believe I was able to make up for lost time on the social media because during the post-production stage I was able to put all my focus on marketing VET-MAN. My posts were spread out over the course of the whole project which helped gain followers, as I was posting every now and then rather than over indulging on the pages and annoying followers.
- I believe I brought the tone of the film across well in my social media posts. I wanted to keep the posts light hearted to reflect the comedy aspect of the film. This was initially suggested by Oscar and something that I hadn't thought of prior to contacting him.
- Surprisingly, the stickers worked and we gained many new followers on our social media page. I have learnt about the impact other methods of marketing have on our target audience, rather than just relying on social media alone.
- StudioBinder. (2019). What Does a Producer Do: The Various Types of Producers in Film & TV. Available: https://www.studiobinder.com/blog/what-does-a-producer-do/. Last accessed 24th April 2019.
- PrintPlace. (n/d). Market with posters to reach potential customers in many different locations.. Available: https://www.printplace.com/articles/a-successful-poster-marketing-campaign. Last accessed 25th April 2019.
- PrintPlace. (n/d). Market with posters to reach potential customers in many different locations.. Available: https://www.printplace.com/articles/a-successful-poster-marketing-campaign. Last accessed 25th April 2019.