Telefilm grants $750,000 for social media marketing

Ready to put their money where their WOM is, Telefilm Canada will give up to $50,000 to distributors and their agencies through the Web-Cine 360 fund for the best social media campaigns promoting English films.

Social media marketing has become a popular way to generate buzz around a film, and Telefilm Canada is extending a project that funds the online media strategy promoting a film’s release.

Called Web-Cine 360, the pilot initiative was announced in January for the French-language market. Yesterday, Telefilm announced it would be renewing the project for a second year (worth up to $250,000), and extend it to English-language films as well (worth $500,000).

‘We think it’s important because [social media] is effective,’ says Michel Pradier, Telemfilm Canada’s director of project financing. ‘The marketing of a movie is always the buzz, the word-of-mouth. And when you think about social media, what better buzz mechanism could there be? It’s really the way to reach people that might be interested in a specific topic.’

Seven recipients of the French-language fund, which can be worth up to $50,000 per campaign, were announced yesterday – among them are Cafe de Flore, a film by director Jean-Marc Vallee (C.R.A.Z.Y.) distributed by Alliance Vivafilm, and Curling, from Denis Cote distributed by Metropole films. All of the seven distributors chosen used specialized, digital interactive agencies to develop their campaigns, which will be launched soon, ahead of the films’ fall release, says Pradier. He adds that the work of traditional media agencies could qualify if they have a ’boutique’ dedicated to digital campaigns.

Telefilm is placing emphasis on proven results, which it says can be measured on social media by the popularity of the pages, the number of people who say they are attending, or Google Analytics. But the ultimate measure of a digital campaign’s success will still be traditional ticket sales.

‘The end result is going to be the impact on the actual box office for each film,’ says Pradier.