The entertainment industry has undergone a significant transformation in recent years. With the advent of social media platforms like TikTok and Instagram, a new breed of celebrities has emerged: influencers. These online stars have amassed massive followings and have become powerful marketing tools for brands across various industries. Hollywood, in particular, has turned to influencers in a desperate attempt to promote their latest blockbusters and achieve box office success. Major studios are now shelling out tens of thousands of dollars to collaborate with these influencers, recognizing their ability to captivate audiences and drive interest. In this article, we’ll explore how influencers are reshaping the movie industry and discuss the strategies employed by studios to harness the power of these online stars.
Influencers have become an integral part of Hollywood’s marketing strategy, with major studios actively seeking partnerships to promote their films. These influencers, who have amassed millions of followers on platforms like TikTok and Instagram, offer a direct line of communication to a vast and engaged audience. By collaborating with influencers, studios can tap into their fan base, generate buzz, and increase ticket sales.
Amanda Castrillo, a popular TikTok influencer, has experienced firsthand the impact of her collaboration with the movie industry. With over 316,000 followers, Castrillo has become a sought-after partner for studios looking to promote their films. She has attended red carpet events and premieres, creating unique and engaging content for her followers. While Castrillo initially started her TikTok account to share her thoughts on Marvel and Star Wars, she never anticipated the opportunities it would bring.
“I didn’t really know red carpets or events like that were even an option,” Castrillo admitted. The movie industry’s interest in building relationships with influencers has opened doors for individuals like Castrillo, who now has the chance to attend premieres and create content surrounding major film releases.
Studios understand the significance of building strong relationships with influencers and actively collaborate with them to create engaging promotional content. Marc Weinstock, the president of worldwide marketing and distribution at Paramount Pictures, recognizes the evolving landscape of marketing in the COVID era.
“The devotion to this part of marketing is probably the biggest change during the COVID era,” Weinstock said. “I think it was exacerbated by the fact that a lot of people were watching TikTok videos because they were stuck at home. So why wouldn’t you have creators have fun with your campaign and get the word out that way?”
A group of influencers was recently flown by Paramount Pictures to Singapore for the “Transformers: Rise of the Beasts” premiere. Harry Mack, a freestyle superstar, was also invited to perform with the cast. These partnerships not only spark interest but also give influencers access to original content they can use to engage their audience.
For influencers like Amanda Castrillo, collaborating with the movie industry remains a side hustle. However, others have turned their influencer status into a full-time career and even ventured into acting. Gabriella Gomez, a former marketing professional, now runs her own influencer marketing company, Department of Influence. Gomez acts as a liaison between influencers and studios, helping influencers find their voice and suggesting marketing strategies to film companies.
“Marketing has evolved to where people don’t want to be sold to, they want to discover,” Weinstock explained. “This allows people to discover our marketing as opposed to it being poured down their throats.”
King Bach, a.k.a. Andrew Bachelor, became well-known during the Vine mania and afterward turned to acting. The Bachelor has a large following outside of social media, with over 16 million Vine subscribers. In terms of Vine followers, he currently holds the Guinness World Record. He has used his platform to negotiate six-figure deals with studios and businesses.
But Bachelor believed that promoting films he wasn’t a part of wasn’t good for his reputation. He was contacted in 2015 to create paid content for the Zac Efron film “We Are Your Friends.” Bachelor arranged a cameo role for himself rather than just spreading the word about the movie.
“They catered the script around me for a cameo, and it blossomed from there,” Bachelor explained. “Now what I’m doing is taking a role not as an influencer but as an actor. You’re hiring me as an actor.”
Bachelor’s experience highlights the potential for influencers to transition from promoting movies to appearing in them, leveraging their existing fan base and expanding their careers in the entertainment industry.
Straw Hat Goofy and Reece Feldman are two influencers making waves in Hollywood. Feldman, who regularly interviews industry stars, has attended prestigious events like the Golden Globes and the Academy Awards. Straw Hat Goofy’s Instagram page showcases his interactions with A-list celebrities, including John Boyega and Seth Rogen. These influencers have successfully positioned themselves as industry insiders, combining their online presence with real-world connections.
Studios like Paramount Pictures are capitalizing on the influence of online stars by hosting exclusive screenings for influencers. Paramount recently invited 450 influencers to a “Young Hollywood” screening of an action movie at their studio lot in Hollywood. Attendees, including Amanda Castrillo, had the opportunity to create captivating content while rubbing shoulders with industry professionals and showcasing their experiences to their followers.
“Marketing has evolved to where people don’t want to be sold to, they want to discover,” Weinstock emphasized. “This allows for people to discover our marketing as opposed to it being poured down their throats.”
As the entertainment industry continues to evolve, influencers will play an increasingly vital role in promoting movies and driving box office success. Studios recognize the value of collaborating with influencers to create engaging content that resonates with their target audience. The ability to reach millions of dedicated followers provides an unparalleled opportunity for studios to generate excitement and buzz around their films.
Influencers like Amanda Castrillo, King Bach, and Straw Hat Goofy have demonstrated the transformative power of their online presence, leveraging their influence to secure acting roles and forge relationships with industry heavyweights. The rise of influencers in Hollywood is not just a passing trend; it represents a fundamental shift in the way movies are marketed and consumed.
In conclusion, influencers have become the secret weapon for Hollywood studios seeking to save their blockbusters from box office failure. With their massive followings and engaging content, influencers have the power to captivate audiences and generate buzz like never before. Collaborating with influencers allows studios to tap into their dedicated fan base and create a direct line of communication with potential moviegoers. As the entertainment industry continues to adapt to changing consumer behaviors, influencers will undoubtedly remain a crucial element in Hollywood’s marketing strategy. The future of cinema promotion lies in the hands of these online stars, and the possibilities are endless.
First reported by Daily Mail.