At Brigham Young University in Provo, there is a group of advertising students trying to break it into the Lord of the Rings scene–however, it’s not in the way you’d think.
Students who go by the hobbit names Olo, Toad and Beri are using all types of social media (blogs, youtube, their own Web site, Facebook and Twitter to catch the attention of Peter Jackson (director of the Hobbit movie–the first installment slated to come out in 2012). Olo, Toad and Beri are actively combing trends in the media to get their voices heard.
For example, just recently Stephen Colbert (apparently) got into an imaginary battle on his show with Justin Beiber to see who was the biggest Lord of the Rings fan. The three hobbits took off with that concept and continue to pit the two against each other by making videos, Twitter hashtags and direct shout outs to both stars to get some air time. It doesn’t seem to have worked yet, but not for the hobbits’ lack of effort.
The campaign is based solely on the three hobbits’ desire to receive $10,000 in donations to help them travel to New Zealand. Once there, they hope to use their media efforts to convince Peter Jackson to make them extras on the new film. Along with the media they have already posted, the hobbits continue to generate content to keep their page relevant and rise to the top in Google. Even though they aren’t close to the $10,000 goal yet (they currently have $1,345), the campaign shows evidence of the new trend toward raising awareness via social media and the Internet.
With these new tools, people can make an entire media campaign by spending less than $100. In years past, if someone wanted to generate some buzz they would have to make a concerted effort to get stories placed in the newspaper, raise the issue in the town council, pitch the idea to local news and a myriad of other things just to get the story noticed. Now if someone wants to make themselves known, all they need to do is know how to use WordPress, Blogspot or know basic Web site coding.
The trouble comes when people make plans for media awareness, but don’t make plans for what their target audience is. In order to run an effective media campaign, one must ask four questions:
What do I need to do to overcome my current problem?
Who do I need to motivate to help me overcome the problem?
What do I say to them in order to convince them to help me overcome the problem?
What channels do I use to send that message so they will see it and act on it?
Once you do the research necessary to properly answer all four of those questions, then you might stand a chance of having your goals reach. I hope our hobbit friends reach their goal, before it is too late.