Paramount Follows Up “Paranormal” Marketing with More Social Fun
Paramount, the company behind the distribution of the smash-hit Paranormal Activity is now showcasing a new film-meets-social media project. Paramount’s Paramount Digital Entertainment (PDE) division has teamed up with Adobe, MySpace, Mountain Dew, and Blockbuster on the production, distribution, and marketing on a new "supernatural thriller" web series called Circle of Eight.
We were interested in how the concept came about. PDE Senior Vice President, Creative Development & Production, Keith Quinn tells WebProNews, "The story and the interactive format were conceived at the same time—Circle of Eight was born as a project that was intended and customized for digital distribution in its debut window, and across platforms for additional windows."
Circle of Eight debuted with 3 episodes on MySpace. Viewers are able to share and embed the content, interact with the series through social gaming and content, and broadcast their thoughts via forums and commenting. The series will consist of 10 episodes in all, and the gaming and social media elements are integrated into the show itself.
The marketing is integrated too. That’s where Mountain Dew comes in. Mountain Dew plays a "critical" role in the Circle of Eight storyline. One of the characters in the series joins the Green Label Art community and creates a unique, custom-designed Green Label Art bottle. The bottle is also featured in the online game where it "unlocks deeper mysteries" in the Circle of Eight storyline. "Green Label Art" is Mountain Dew’s limited edition series of collectable aluminum bottles.
"From the start of our collaboration on this project, it’s been essential that Mountain Dew has an authentic purpose within the Circle of Eight storyline and provides value in the interactive experience," said Frank Cooper, SVP and Chief Consumer Engagement Officer, Pepsi-Cola North American Beverages. "Paramount Digital Entertainment and Milchan/Van Eyssen shared our vision and the final result is innovative digital content that we believe is engaging and entertaining."
Between Circle of Eight and the headline-making marketing strategy of Paranormal Activity, Paramount seems to be embracing social media in interesting ways that other production companies aren’t (or at least aren’t getting the attention for). We asked Quinn why Paramount is so successful in creating social buzz.
"Circle of Eight is a property that works best when we embrace social media for both its distribution and marketing," he responded. "Paramount succeeds in creating social buzz precisely because we embrace social media and digital distributions, thinking of entertainment ideas and promotion of these ideas that will work across new media in addition to traditional media."
"The use of social networking and casual games to enhance the Circle of Eight story supports PDE’s focus on delivering bold, relevant programming targeted to a Gen Y audience steeped in Web 2.0 media," Quinn added.
All sponsoring companies are heavily involved in marketing Circle of Eight to raise awareness for the series and its multiplatform experience. Quinn says Paramount has more unique projects like Circle of Eight lined up, but they are unannounced as of yet.
Circle of Eight is directed by Stephen Cragg (Reaper, ER, NCIS), and stars DJ Qualls (Road Trip, All About Steve), Austin Highsmith and Ryan Doom. It was is produced by Alexandra Milchan (Righteous Kill, Street Kings) and David Van Eyssen (BMW Film Series The Hire).