I was sitting in my favorite chair the other night (7 days after seeing The Dark Night) and an ad for one of the local news stations came on the air. The 10pm anchor was doing a promo for the upcoming news cast, and, as you know, they like to tease your interest in order to keep you tuned in. The promo said, “A new summer blockbuster set to release may slow down Batman or at least give him a serious run for his money”. Having seen and loved the new Batman, I was intrigued by the tease. I finished up some WM work and settled in to watch the news to find out what movie I would have to see next. Ladies and Gents, I was severely disappointed when, after watching 36 minutes of news, they finally revealed the aforementioned slayer of the Bat.
It was Brendan Fraser.
Give me a break! The third (and hopefully final) installment of The Mummy movie series, The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, was launched on August 1st. According to Yahoo Movies, the first two movies in the series grossed $155 million and $202 million, respectively, for a combined $357 million. That is $37 million less than The Dark Knight grossed in its first 3 weeks. Yolanda and Gabe from Fox 28 were successful in teasing me with their viral hook, which had me on the internet the next morning to research their claim.
So let me demonstrate the “viral effect” that took place here. After hearing the tease from the newscast, I decided to research the claim, utilizing the endless resources of the internet. I first hit Yahoo Movies homepage to see if any of the critics had posted their reviews of the movie. I regrettably watched a trailer or two on Y! Movies, and then moved on to the websites of some reputable movie critics. At this point, I hadn’t seen or read anything spectacular about this movie, so I went to YouTube and found the ReelzChannel video channel. Reelz does exit interviews with movie goers who attend the opening night of a movie premier. The people on the street had some not-so-nice things to say about The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor.
“The last time I saw a movie of that quality was Revenge of the Nerds 5.”
“It was horrible, just horrible.”
“I was expecting it to be a lot worse, but was pleasantly surprised.”
“The welfare version of Indiana Jones”
“Brendan Fraser, stop with the movies.”
With all of these “glowing” reviews, the “viral effect” has resulted in negative press for this movie; it has definitely registered with the box office. The movie has only grossed $40 million during the opening weekend, and the critics, both professional and amateur, have not been kind to this movie with their reviews.
So what does this say about how the “viral effect” can move your business? Using this case study, it can absolutely kill your momentum. Your future customers will research your product, talk to friends and family, read about your company, search for product reviews, etc. The “viral effect” can either work in your favor or decidedly against you. You have to make sure that you’re ahead of the viral curve to keep your business on track and keep people talking about you in a positive light.