Welcome to “How I Would Market It”, the weekly post in which I take a film from any part of film history including the modern era and deliver a digital marketing plan over how I would have marketed the film.

In today’s first ever post, I would like to run through a marketing campaign for a film I just watched and might be one of the best that I’ve ever seen: Eyes Wide Shut. Now you can make fun of me for talking about a film that is so common in the minds of the filmgoing public but my god when I watched that film, the ethereal, dreamlike quality of it still has me in amazement as I write this. I guess it’s no surprise that it was based on a novel literally called Dream Story.

For this, we’ll go through some digital marketing strategies via email, social media, and SEO that you could have been applied to the film if I was a time traveler in the seventies and somehow I was able to get away with digital marketing ok this really isn’t making much sense anymore.

ANYWAY, without further ado here we go.

Boom ok I had to stick that in there because I wanted to give you guys a taste of the film’s tone (and maybe I just wanted to watch it myself again).

Ok, that was a bit of a snag to pull you into this post. Let’s go back and ask ourselves…what is this film about in the first place? Relationships between men and women, the religious basis of sexuality and fidelity.

So Who Would Watch This Film?

Who is our target audience member? Well, the fun thing about Eyes Wide Shut is that it resonates with such a broad array of people-I’m sure most individuals have to deal with those situations in their own lives. Plus it is a Kubrick film so we could safely get the message with a decent return to anyone that is a Kubrick fan on Facebook

So what do we have here? Fidelity, relationships, sex, Kubrick, ah yes and I almost forgot-religious philosophy. These all form a cocktail of high art concepts so why not target some other notable high art brands? Let’s go with Picasso, Rembrandt, and tack in a few philosophers like Descartes and Kant.

Now when we mention these names, we have a veritable body of work from which to leverage. We know now that the person we are trying to target with this film has a taste for high art and philosophy as well as appreciates watching a good thriller. Maybe he or she has a significant other they would pop this in the DVD for and play on a snowy Friday night in.

Great so now that we’ve figured out a fantastic persona on whom we can pitch this film out to, let’s dive into how exactly we’ll get it out to them. This is where our Objective First Framework will come in handy.


What exactly are we going for? Well, since this is just a made up campaign and I’m just exhibiting how the concept could work in real life, let’s go with something like: “we’d like to see 25% more Facebook engagement on the page than last month by the end of this month.”

That’s a solid objective to start out with. But it’s not yet measurable…


Now how do we go about achieving this 25% increase? Well, we are talking about engagement so let’s come up with a metric that is clear and trackable. How about something like page likes on the film?

Now we are getting somewhere and are on the road towards marketing Eyes Wide Shut online (crazy right?)

So we have defined our objective as well as the metric or KPI we will use to measure whether or not we achieve our objective. The next step is to break into tactics and this is where things get really fun.

Remember how we talked about the persona of our core audience member. They are a fan of thrillers plus philosophy plus high-level art. Well, guess what-Facebook has pages for all of these named individuals. Let’s leverage their followers and see what we get.

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These three pages alone account for a little more than 2.3 million likes. So imagine that you were to shoot out an advertisement for Eyes Wide Shut. That’s 2.3 million potential fans that you could be targeting on Facebook. And these pages don’t account for the smaller pages for the same artists and authors that would likely bring the number of likes to closer to 3 million.

But WAIT: I can’t believe I forgot about the stars. That’s Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman. Can’t forget to leverage that.

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Thaaaat’s another 21 million folks. Now granted probably when this film came out they each had closer to 5 million people that would have followed them had Facebook existed back then. But this is just for educational purposes only so we’ll go with anything we can leverage to get eyeballs on our page.


We need to increase our fan growth for the film’s Facebook page so how about we shoot an ad out to people. And let’s be specific about this and shoot it out to people that are already following these specific pages.

So step one would be to create an “awareness” campaign. Perfect:

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As you can see we have a fairly large audience size:

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The trick here would be to fine tune it based on the filters. Remember, it’s not how large your audience is but the quality of people that you reach.

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Just by adding “Tom Cruise” as an additional interest, we’ve narrowed the impressions or “eyeballs on the ad” down to 6.7 million:

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Now it’s off to set a budget.

Now I know it may seem intimidating at first, but Facebook gives you a clear way in which you can set your budget through their filters.

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It might seem expensive now, but you know that Starbucks you are sipping on right now? It probably cost you as much to get that as it would for an ad today on Facebook.

Creating the Ad

So you’ve got a few options to choose from here. For the purposes of this article, I’m going to go with the video advertisement. But you should also be aware that video performs, on average, higher than static Facebook advertisements. You’ll just need to make sure the ad serves the purpose of your goal right away.

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You want to make sure that the video captures the kind of target you are looking to reach out to. In this case, in particular, we have Tom Cruise entering the hall where he will be forced to give the password for entering the house. It capitalizes on the high art, philosophical and star-powered nature of the film.

Measure and Optimize

Once we have been able to get some results from the video, we’ll need to see not just the number of video views but the number of other engagements on the video as well. How many comments and reactions did we get on it? How many comments and reactions did we get on other posts on the same day? We can ask these and many other questions as we dive into our analytics.

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And once you get the answers to those burning questions, you can go back into your campaign and retweak it. Perhaps you got many comments on how Nicole Kidman was not featured in the scene. Well then, you can go back into the Ads interface and pop in a new trailer or scene that heavily features the actress.

At the end of the day, you can interpret the results of your campaigns through a variety of ways but listening to your audience and optimizing based on what they want is a very wise move for up and coming filmmakers. Being creative in how you employ this whole process is the first step in a fantastic digital marketing campaign.

Happy advertising!