For a single Hollywood studio movie, that studio will spend millions and millions of dollars on advertising and marketing campaigns to make sure that everyone everywhere knows about their movie. It might seem outrageous, but really, they have to spend that much in order to have a chance to recoup the massive and absurd costs of making said movie.
But for anyone spending less than a million dollars on their movie, there’s hardly any money to make a dent in the world of studio-sized marketing campaigns. You might be able to afford some kinds of ads, or some spots on TV or radio or on the web, but still you will be faced with a huge goliath standing in your way. Without tens of millions, you will be relegated to marketing your movie in a certain niche.
Those of us who make movies for a fraction of that have even less. So what can we do to compete with the big boys? How can we get our movies talked about? How can we get people to see our movies? You don’t need stars or money, you just need promotion. After all, people aren’t going to watch your movie if they don’t know it’s an option.
But how can you do promotion with little or no money? By thinking outside the box!
Some of you know my dad, Clark Balderson, who appeared in the WAMEGO documentary trilogy on DIY filmmaking providing viewers with great business advice. He runs a construction equipment attachments manufacturing business called Dymax. To illustrate an example of how you can compete with the big boys, let’s explore what Dymax achieved at MINExpo 2004.
In the world of construction equipment attachments, Caterpillar and Komatsu reign like movie studios Sony and Time Warner. For MINExpo, Caterpillar and Komatsu each spent millions of dollars on their exhibits, which were huge… maybe 10,000 square feet or more. Dymax had only $10,000 to spend. And their booth was maybe about 200 square feet.
So Clark asked himself, “What can we do to stand out from the crowd? What can we do differently?” MINExpo was taking place in Las Vegas… What about something involving showmanship and an over-the-top spectacle? But, MINExpo is for miners. Rough and tumble customers.
After thinking outside the box, Clark created a Dymax Sideshow, featuring The Enigma who swallowed swords, breathed fire and stuck nails into his skull; Selene Luna performed strip tease; and Pleasant Gehman (Princess Farhana) did bellydance and burlesque.
The Dymax Sideshow put on shows every couple hours with the entertainers. The Enigma, Selene and Plez walked around the exhibition floor so people saw them. And then everyone who saw them HAD to come see them perform.
Dymax had a steady stream of people stopping by to have their pictures taken with the performers. And most of all, they enjoyed the performances.
And when it was all over, Clark discovered that the MINExpo management had awarded Dymax two prizes for Best Marketing. Out of a total of seven prizes handed out to the entire Expo. And it was done for a sliver of what the big boys spent.
Use this example as a lesson on how to stand out, create your own “buzz” and how to succeed by being creative within your limits. Sometimes people are limited by money, by location, by weather, by you-name-it. But, I see limitations as a blessing. Once you identify your limitation, you don’t have to think about it anymore. Instead of thinking about what you don’t have, try asking yourself how you can achieve the desired results with what you DO have!