By peter katz, October 22nd, 2009

People in the entertainment industry usually treat marketing like applying Ketchup to a hamburger (a movie, video game, etc). It should be one of the main ingredients-not an afterthought.

Social games have spread fast because when someone plays Farmville on Facebook they can invite friends to join and there are constant automatic status updates that can attract new gamers.

How many Farmville commercials have you seen on TV? (probably none).

Compare that to the millions of dollars spent on huge ad campaigns when Nintendo, X-box, and Playstation launch new titles. A person trusts getting into social games on Facebook or Twitter, since they are played by someone they know. Compare that to an impersonal billboard promoting GTA. Most social games are free, so that eliminates the friction of users getting started, while revenue can come from advertising and virtual goods.

Releasing a theatrical film is very risky and expensive for studios. To minimize some of the risks I recommend combining the development (creative executives that oversee story) and marketing department in their companies. That marriage of disciplines could help develop films that organically have special elements that attract a large audience by working seamlessly with the marketing push.

What are other examples where marketing has been built into a product?

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peter katz is an award winning filmmaker based in Los Angeles. Peter has produced genre films that have screened all over the world from the AFI Fest to the Rome Film Festival. His first picture Home Sick starred Bill Moseley from The Devil's Rejects and Tom Towles from Henry Portrait Of A Serial Killer. Next Peter worked with Tobe Hooper (director of Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Poltergeist) on Mortuary, which premiered on the Sci Fi Channel. Most recently he was a producer on Pop Skull, a psychological ghost film, that has received great reviews in Variety and numerous film web sites. Currently, Peter is developing projects across various mediums including film, comics, and the web.

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