Digital and social media marketing chiefs of major studios said today they’re really hoping the threat of a U.S. government ban on Tiktok never materializes, so crucial has the platform become to launching films. They’d also like Elon Musk-owned Twitter to get itself together, since that’s also a key platform for Hollywood.
“I don’t personally think that TikTok is going to go away, at least not anytime soon in the U.S., said Alex Sanger, EVP, Digital Marketing, Universal Pictures at a CinemaCon panel today hosted by Deadline’s Anthony D’Alessandro.
“We’ve been using TikTok since it was called Musical.ly,” he said. It was important then, “During the pandemic it became even more important, and it just continues to be so. We find it to be a viable platform for basically every one of our films. M3GAN was certainly one of those. And we didn’t really have to do much. That dance in the trailer basically went crazy,” he said of the creepy moves by the life-sized doll on the Empire State Buidling that seized the platform.
President Joe Biden is threatening a ban of the service for data security reason since it’s owned by giant Chinese internet company, ByteDance. Sanger also noted recent highly successful campaigns for Jurassic World Dominion and Puss In Boots: The Last Wish.
Danielle Bekas, Co-Executive Vice President, International Marketing, Warner Bros. Pictures, talked Barbie, whose initial images also also went viral. “We started to see we have something, we have something that people want to talk about and engage with.” That film also exploded on Tiktok, which is “an amazing driver” in itself and as fans share content through their own social channels.
In a hard-to-imagine scenario of Tiktok vanishing, there are other solutions — YouTube Shorts, Instagram Reels, Snapchat’s Spotlight (platforms that would reap huge rewards in Tiktok’s absence).
There’s also Twitter, although that’s gotten a little complicated.
“We have seen some people we work with on a daily basis go away and not be replaced. There’s still some great people there. There’s lots of changes to their service and products,” said Sanger. Uncertainty also includes brand safety issues and confusion around checkmarks. “It’s concerning. That said, it is a real time conversation platform. It’s where we are the closest to the audience. It is truly a town square.”
Bekas agreed, calling Twitter “a finger on the pulse of what our audiences are saying.”
“When you’re trending, you know that there’s some heat,” she said.
MORE to come