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Sony Pictures leverages psychographics

News, 23 February 2017

LAS VEGAS: Sony Pictures, the movie studio, is successfully reaching digital consumers by using "psychographically-customized content" that can connect its films with their specific interests.

Josh Greenstein, President/Worldwide Marketing & Distribution at Sony Pictures, discussed this subject at CES 2017, an event held by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) in Las Vegas.

In demonstrating how "psychographically-customized content" can promote films, he cited "The Shallows", which starred actress Blake Lively, and told the story of a surfer battling a great white shark – and the elements – to survive.

More specifically, he outlined how the organization created digital content targeted at various different groups, knowing their motivations for viewing the movie would be slightly different, on platforms like Facebook.

To engage teens, for instance, its messaging utilized slang familiar to this audience, and highlighted the intensity the story's lead character required to survive.

Horror enthusiasts were, simultaneously, teased with a series of "rules" for surviving in shark-infested waters – a strategy mimicking the frequent use of this type of coda in scary movies.

"We're building mythology in a language that they really respond to," Greenstein reported in describing Sony's appeals to this cohort. (For more details, read Warc's exclusive report: Social and mobile hits the mark for Sony Pictures.)

Additionally, surfing fans were enticed with a mix of alluring visuals traditionally associated with riding the waves, alongside hints of the trouble to come from below the water.

Adult moviegoers, by contrast, were greeted with content based around "self-reliance" to "give them a little bit of a sense of: This isn't what you expect," said Greenstein.

"They've seen a lot of genre movies before, and this movie has a lot more going for it than other genre movies."

Greenstein further argued that this program offers a clear indication of the breadth of the digital canvas which is now available for marketers to explore.

"These are just four examples of different creative. We do 20, 30, 40 different executions," he said. "It's actually fostering creativity because you get to customize the creative to the users [and] what they're interested in."

Data sourced from Warc