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MKT 499 Week 1 Notes

by: Emily Laurienti

MKT 499 Week 1 Notes MKT 499

Emily Laurienti
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Intro class and second lecture notes both on one document If you have any questions feel free to email me at
The Art and Science of Producing and Marketing a Blockbuster
Prof. Gene Delvecchio
Class Notes
Marketing, movies, blockbusters




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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Emily Laurienti on Saturday August 27, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to MKT 499 at University of Southern California taught by Prof. Gene Delvecchio in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 86 views. For similar materials see The Art and Science of Producing and Marketing a Blockbuster in Marketing at University of Southern California.

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Date Created: 08/27/16
Class 1 8.23.16 Intro  5% of all films account for almost all studio profits  Blockbuster—must make more at least 150 million domestically o Domestic= US and Canada o 15-20 films reach blockbuster status annually —gives statistics day to day and week to week for how movies are doing  Estimate box office sales o First weekend sales * 3 or 4= possible total sales o Second weekend sales usually drop 50-55% from first weekend sales o Studios look at comparable films to estimate sales that a film might do  Films with the same actor  Films with the same themes/genres  Major things that changed Hollywood o Star Wars (1977)—represents the first time that merchandise was sold as a result of a film. Showed the beginning of what is now a major money maker for some blockbusters  Blockbuster types o Single event blockbuster—one film that succeeds but does not have anywhere to go from there  Titanic is a great example of this, killing off the Jack made the movie unable to carry on, but was necessary for the film’s success o Linear Franchise Blockbuster—a blockbuster that succeeds in its original format as a series, but never expands to other categories  The Fast and the Furious succeeded as multiple movies but never expanded into toys, games, etc. in a big way o Multi-category Franchise Blockbuster—a blockbuster that expands into categories other than its original format  The Toy Story movies expanded both in their original format with three movies total, as well as expanding into apparel, TV shows, toys, and more.  Other categories can represent a huge source of revenue for multi- category franchises—Toy Story 3 did about $1 billion in box office sales but had total retail sales of $10 billion  Franchise Ingredients o Craft entertainment that satisfies audiences’ deep emotional needs o Include a theme or story that is at least minimally open-ended  Don’t kill off your hero  The sequel must have the possibility of even greater riches  The villain should be more evil with each addition to the story  You can follow character’s lives (like in the Shrek movies)  Prequels  Sagas  Character universes/worlds (the Harry Potter universe allows for additions like Fantastic beasts) o Create characters worth emulating  They can be worth emulating in their persona, their possessions, or their appearance o Make it vastly playable  Music, toys, video game opportunities, etc. o Create fanciful, exciting environments o Include unique iconography  Deathly hallows symbol in Harry Potter, mockingjay for the Hunger Games Class 2 8.25.16  Studios get about 50% of box office sales, the other 50% goes to the theaters  Marketability—can I get a lot of people to come watch this?  Playability—when you actually show people something and they like it Define the target audience and fulfill emotional needs  Positioning= target audience + benefit (genre) + emotional need + rating o if you change one of these elements, the positioning of the movie changes o studios play with each element during production to find the best position for their film  Target Audience o By age, gender, ethnicity  Four quadrants—younger male, younger female, older male, older female  Usually split at 25 for younger/older  Quadrants also exist for children’s markets with the younger/older split at 8/9  If you want to fit into every quadrant, you have to actually be relevant to each quadrant and can’t water down the content o Jurassic world—targeted kids with the content, appealed to the nostalgic side for adults who watched the original movies, was rated PG-13 to expand the audience o Suicide Squad—added a female character to draw in more women to what may have otherwise attracted mostly men  If you focus on one quadrant, you have to be able to justify ignoring the other three quadrants o Magic Mike did well and was 96% women o Power Rangers appeals to younger males o Hannah Montana appeals to younger females o Jackass appeals to older males o Grace + Frankie appeals to older females  Expanding Target Audience  To target women more you can add a strong female lead o If you have a kickass woman, you can still attract men (usually if she looks good while kicking ass) o Video games are starting to attract females and show females as characters  A target audience will change during a film’s life; something that originally attracts mostly men will start to attract women o This can be done by cutting different trailers o You can break audiences into primary and secondary audiences  Audience Ethnicity  Films/TV shows with primarily ethnic casts tend to have narrower audiences unless the theme is universal o Straight Outta Compton did well o Empire is doing very well because it doesn’t focus on the family’s ethnicity, it focuses on their success and is relatable o By Genre—a method of categorizing stories based on similarities in the narrative elements  Action/adventure is the most preferred genre  Horror is the cheapest to make but is also hard to be successful with  The most preferred genre differs depending on the category—for books, suspense/thriller books are the most popular  Combo genres—when a product fits into multiple genres (romantic comedy)  Sub-genre—when a film is related to one genre and made unique within that genre (legal drama, dark comedy) o By Emotional needs fulfilled  Align with Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs  Physiological—human survival, air, food, water, clothing, shelter, sex  Safety—personal health and well-being (accidents, illness, financial instability, thwarting evil)  Love & Belonging—social needs for family, friendship, intimacy and romance  Esteem—respect, appreciation, recognition, status, fame, glory, mastery, independence, freedom, power, redemption, revenge, control, winning, rebelliousness, beauty, confidence, bravery  Self-actualization—fulfilling your full potential  Most blockbusters address emotional needs in multiple categories (Star wars, Avatar, The Lion King, Harry Potter)  Top goals/needs desired by audiences  Survive life and death  Be brave  Fulfill full potential  Top fears audiences want a character to face  Death  Personal injury  War  Seven deadly sins can serve as motivation for the villain and/or something the hero needs to overcome  Greed  Envy  Lust  Anger  Gluttony  Pride  Sloth o By Rating  Need to balance more aggressive/suggestive content  More mature content cuts off younger audiences so you have to be able to justify turning those possible customers away  Less mature content may gain younger audiences but push away older audiences  PG-13 is the sweet spot. It’s aggressive enough for adults to appreciate but not so aggressive to turn children away  Audience insights (achieving the 4 quadrants) o Satisfy an emotion shared by all o Satisfy an emotion unique to some o Select broad based culture and trends o Create characters all can identify with o Use nostalgia to connect generations o Address the sensibilities of each segment  Humor, tone, mastery, etc. change with age (kids like physical humor, teens like sarcasm) o Create a happy ending


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