Friday, December 26, 2008

Paramount Pulls Campaign On Artsy Social Network

Social Media is still hard for some big companies to understand. Below is an article from MediaPost on why Paramount Pictures pulled it's contest.

I agree with what a commenter said:
"Not a smart move by Paramount. They just lost a lot in potential viral social networking. Sometimes large companies just don't get it: you can't control all aspects of a social networking or viral campaign, and that's not always a bad thing. Unforunately, the artists are the ones that will really lose out here."

What do you think?

Paramount Pictures pulled a contest scheduled to run this week aimed at promoting the January release of DreamWorks's "The Uninvited" after the press got wind of the agreement and the studio lost control of marketing plans, according to sources close to the deal. Paramount acknowledged the partnership, but did not return calls to confirm whether the contest was delayed or killed.

DeviantART has a community of 8 million contributing artists who submit 100,000 works daily. The Los Angeles-based site has built a database of 70 million works of art since 2000. Topics span 2,400 genres.

Many of the member artists have supported successful viral campaigns and contests for PepsiCo, Sony, Scion and gaming site Three Rings through their artwork. The works become viral by sharing the embed code through widgets on other social media sites and profiles. Some, sold as prints, as well as reproductions on t-shirts and apparel, would have included pieces by artists to promote the movie "The Uninvited."

There have been many successful campaigns. In PepsiCo's campaign the artists designed bottle wraps for Mountain Dew. In Three Rings' "Design Your Whirled" campaign, artists designed rooms for the gaming site and a change to win a MacBook Pro, Wacom Cintiq 12WX or Wacom Intuos3 6X11 tablet. There were 754 entries; 2,361 comments and 98,834 page views on the Whirled campaign.

Three Rings CEO Daniel James said the company took a gamble on deviantART for the first time by running a promotion from Oct. 23 through Nov. 14. "It could have been a big bust, but we're satisfied with the results," he said. "It costs tens of thousands of dollars to run the promotion" and in return Three Rings got "truckloads of impressions on the contest page from click-throughs, and banner and boxy ads."

James said Three Rings, San Francisco, will likely do other promotions with deviantART in the future because it prompted a jump in subscribers. In the first few days of the campaign the video game site experienced 25,000 new registrations.

Ironically, deviantART once hired a public relations firm between 2002 and 2005 to keep the social network site out of the press to head off incidents such as the one with Paramount. The company would only agree to interviews if the articles focused on a member of the online community. Despite the lack of formal publicity, page views have catapulted to 1.5 billion page views and 25 million unique visitors monthly.

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