Film Marketing: Missing Mix in SA Film Industry

Film

I have observed a commonality in the South African Film Industry. Many great films are shot and distributed without having an effective and strategic marketing plan. Which is like buying a car with no engine. I’m not talking about a Tesla.

Whilst this is attributed to tight and low budgets Film Makers have to work with, however, marketing is the most important investment that ensures that all the amazing cinematography and enticing story-line becomes a financial success at the end. Films should make a profit unless you were making the film for your close friends and family.

Films do not fail because they were not good, but they fail because nobody knew about the film.

I have watched a fair share of South African films and one needs to give credit to the level of cinematography we have elevated to, unlike before. The quality has improved. However, most and the greatest films are unknown to larger audiences, therefore, becoming a failure, probably thereafter being pirated and distributed on the streets and on YouTube.

In this post, I will leave out the aspects of genre preference and themes such as holidays and seasons and solely focus on the role of marketing or the lack of thereof in Film, assuming that the film is wonderfully shot, amazing cast, and a great story line.

Social Media Marketing Campaign

Media houses should really adapt themselves and utilize new media especially the internet and social media. Social Media is god-sent if used right. That is one thing they should take an advantage of. Running a digital and social media marketing campaign is more affordable than booking a few seconds on TV, or space in Billboards, which you rely on the probability that a certain number of people are seated or passing by that Billboard or watching your film trailer for those few seconds you have paid millions for. If the budget allows, yes, of course, you can also incorporate TV and Billboards, but the internet is your money cow. Trust me.

Domino Effect

Marketing on the internet is cheaper. It reaches more people and works on a ‘domino effect’. By ‘domino effect’, I mean, if ran strategically, your film becomes viral and gets more shares on social media, which reaches more people and by the Premier date, you already have masses lining up to watch your film and just like that, you’ve secured your bag.

Know Your Audience

Research shows that contrary to popular belief, South Africans actually do support locally produced films. People who go to the cinema the most, are young people, recent graduates, university students and young professionals who are just starting out in their careers; Interns. They often go in groups, as friends. They are always on social media, and on their phones. That is your audience and that’s where you’ll find them; on social media. Whether it’s a Zulu action film, which is South Africa’s favorite genre, whether it’s a drama, a romantic comedy or comedy, keep them in mind throughout the process.

Content Marketing

Another mistake often Brands make is to oversell their products or services. This also goes for Film Producers. The key lies in content creation around your film. Get people talking about the film. Diversify your strategy. Involve YouTubers, Influencers, Bloggers (like me😜) , and Instagram. Share the trailer, interviews, behind the scenes videos on social media. Create seconds short, enticing, and mind-blowing video content. Your main goal should be to create that FOMO effect; a fear of missing out on your film, for your audience and potential target audience. THAT should be your ultimate strategy and TV, Billboards, interviews, old media comes after. Trust. 👌

Look at the latest, top-grossing films. You will agree with me that some are not the best films. For example, their editing is flawed, not crisp, the script is messy, or something Film people would notice but they became successful because of hype created around those films. I’d name-drop but I don’t want this post reduced to a trolling session against some films. But I’m sure you know a few. 😊

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Xoli
Xoli

Blogger, Media and Marketing student at the University of KwaZulu Natal.

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LAW STUDENTS’ REVIEW: Law In South Africa

law review

I would like to voice my opinion about the convictions that the general public has about the law in South Africa, and the way the public perceives the law to be applied. Whether whom should act to make sure that the public is exposed to how the law should be applied that is not what this brief reflective piece aims to focus on.

I strongly believe that legal functionaries and other supporting institutions still have a lot to do. They have a vital role to play in discharging awareness among the public about the law and how it operates, through continuous interactions and engaging with the public on various channels of communications.

The law is not for a select few, it is for the entire general public at large since it was established to regulate how the public is expected to behave towards each other and towards the state. Our National TV Channels are not doing the best they can to bring about the awareness and curb the ignorance of our people.

Through our short TV inserts and Drama series, the topic of law could easily be incorporated as SABC 1 once did ages ago when it aired a show called Sokhulu and Partners and The Good Wife on SABC 3. From then on sadly there has never been any recognizable effort in my opinion.

The general public tends to infringe the rules of the law, at times you will find that the person who broke the  law did not even know that he/she was conducting an illegal or unlawful act. That proves just how much we still have to do.

We have The Legal Aid Board which assists members of the public from destitute families and all those who simply cannot afford the services of the law functionaries. You will in most cases find a member of the general public addressing a Judge or Magistrate in court as “Your Majesty, Your Highness or the famous American title Your Honor” instead of Your Lordship or My Lady for a Judge of High Court and Your Worship for a Magistrate.

All this ignorance stems from the Legal Fraternity and many other supporting bodies not doing enough to curb such ignorance.

Justice must be served, and above that Justice must be seen to be served. Sadly, justice cannot be served if people are ignorant of the law. Let us educate the masses so that Justice may be served.

Regards

Makhosonke Donda Ngobese Edited By Mafika Dlamini

This is an opinion by Makhosonke Donda Ngobese
Makhosonke Donda Ngobese
Makhosonke Donda Ngobese

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First Impressions: ‘Real Housewives of Johannesburg’

Real Housewives of Johannesburg

The first episode of the Real Housewives of Johannesburg aired on the 3rd of August 2018 on 1Magic and it’s shocking.

Shocked Nene Leakes GIF by I Dream of NeNe: The Wedding - Find & Share on GIPHY

At first, I wasn’t much hyped up about the show. I thought it would be just another franchised American TV show or another version of Diski Divas and I was wrong!

If you’re not familiar with the ‘Real Housewives’ show, it’s about a group of rich women, (contrary, not necessarily married). They come together to try and form friendships or sisterhood but then egos, drama, and fights come into the process.

Real Housewives of Johannesburg is produced by RHOSA Productions led by a black phenomenal woman, Pepples Gqunta.

My first impression of Real Housewives of Johannesburg; the show is a world-class production. It is invigorating to watch a beautiful side of South Africa, especially in an era where the imagery of Africa is told from perspectives of colonizers who focus on the bad side of Africa and intentionally exclude the fact that Africa is beautiful, and Africans are making the most.

Mercy really wants her vegan menu at Brinnette’s traditional wedding! Should traditional ceremonies cater for vegans and vegetarians too? #RHOJ pic.twitter.com/ODGK71EQ8Z


The most important thing I took out from the first episode is the fact that most of the women grew up in Soweto. They have their own successful businesses. As much as they are rich, they still uphold their ‘Africaness’ in their culturally diversified personalities.

Though Twitter thought it was a cringe-fest, I agree to some extent. That’s what Reality TV is, a cringe-fest. The first episode was already filled with drama. Being familiar with what unfolds in the Real Housewives of Atlanta, I can tell that punches, slaps, and Moet spills are on the cards soon.

There is already a noticeable clash of personalities. About 3 of the 5 women think they are queens. We know how that attitude ended up with Nene Leaks and Kenya Moore.

 

Xoli
Xoli

Blogger, Media and Marketing student at the University of KwaZulu Natal.

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Steinhoff Share Price Bouncing Back-By Over 40%

Steinhoff

The Steinhoff share price jumped by over 40% today. This is the highest ever since the accounting “irregularities” fall. It seems like it is back to business as usual especially with Markus Jooste resigned as the CEO after the so-called accounting irregularities also ‘uncommonly’ known as corruption. New dawn?

It seems that Steinhoff woes are over and they’re bouncing back but will justice be served or this will be another cold case to join other thousands of cold cases whom the authorities refer to as “We Are Still Investigating”?

Least we forget that the recent findings found that the actual damage caused by the corruption is R198 Billion.

The former chairman, Christo Wiese, is also suing Steinhoff for R59 Billion in his losses but what about the losses suffered by South Africans under his chairmanship?



What is more appalling is their unwillingness to cooperate and undermining of the government of South Africa as Markus, the former CEO was summoned to Parliament of South Africa and refused to appear before parliament. On top of that, Steinhoff submitted documents with no information to the Hawks.

It is high time the government stops summoning perpetrators to Inquiries which have no results and start summoning them to courts of law, let them be trialed and prosecuted straight to jail.

It is becoming a norm that companies in the private sector after being exposed, they appoint blacks [women] into high positions to boost their ‘image’, just like how they recently appointed Wendy Luhabe into the Steinhoff Africa Board which is dominated by white men.

This is nothing but a Public Relations attempt to ‘calm’ the public and the government and be seen as if they are doing ‘something’ to fix the problem, of course with the aid of white media and articles such as “Inside the mind of ex-Steinhoff boss Markus Jooste: Here’s why you could be just like him!”

There are many injustices in this Steinhoff case. This is a perfect example of how corruption in the private sector is treated as mere mistakes or irregularities and the wheels of justice seem to turn even slower towards the Stellenbosch billionaires, yet billions disappeared, just like that and it’s business as usual.

I wonder what could have happened if Markus Jooste was Themba…

This is an opinion.
Xoli
Xoli

Blogger, Media and Marketing student at the University of KwaZulu Natal.

Find me on: Web | Twitter

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