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Internet Marketing, SEO and Hollywood

By Domenic Carlson

Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz are without question two of the world’s biggest box office draws. They have massive studio support in an age where studio productions are slowing down, and they continue to demand among the highest salaries in all of Hollywood. While the quality of the film is certainly something that can be debated, the advertising support did seem to be in place. All of the standard points of contact including, television, radio and print were addressed. The stars made themselves available for interviews and could be seen flashing warm smiles to the relentless paparazzi in the tabloids. With two of the world’s biggest mega-stars and seemingly all of their marketing bases covered, the movie seemed poised to make the studio a tidy profit. Despite this financial and professional support and backing, their movie ‘Knight and Day’ had a miserable opening weekend at the box office and is now quickly falling off the charts. In this article we will examine some of the ways in which the marketing group behind the film ‘Knight and Day’ could have reached an even wider audience through the use of Internet Marketing in general, and Search Engine Marketing in particular.

In examining the relative failure of this film, some marketing experts look to the less than perfect execution of the traditional marketing efforts.  Many believe that not enough distinction was used in defining the movie. For example, the poster for the movie shows two white silhouettes under the words Knight and Day and the last names of the stars. Considering the fact that these stars have some of the most recognizable faces on the planet, it seems a curious and less than ideal choice to reduce them to white silhouettes. The gossip behind this poster hints that neither actor could agree upon a picture they thought was good enough for the poster, but this seems incredibly unlikely for these photogenic stars. This flub shows that merely covering all bases does not mean they have been effectively addressed. Many people rejected the film based on the trailer, which showed a movie trapped in several genres that did not appear to be executing any particular one with any particular grace or efficacy. Obviously a bad poster, muddled trailer and the fading star of Tom Cruise were not helping this film, but there are some other, significant issues that can be addressed, mainly the under utilization of the internet as a marketing tool.

In entering the search term Cameron Diaz into Google on the week of the film’s release, some interesting bits of information begin to reveal themselves. First off, there were not any pay-Per-Click advertisements for the movie. This is a very strange finding, especially considering that a search for the other major releases of the time resulted in obvious evidence of Online Marketing efforts, including a full load of PPC ads pushing everything from film trailers to merchandise. As far as the search results are concerned, they do of course turn up Cameron’s bio, Wikipedia page, pages covering recent gossip about her having a possible connection with baseball player Alex Rodriguez, and even a bad review of the film, but nothing for the movie itself.  Even Bing, a search engine which could conceivably be targeted by the marketing team behind the film to reach those less than mainstream users, yielded a similar lack of results. Across each search engine, looking up Tom Cruise fairs no better than Ms. Diaz. A quick YouTube search for Tom Cruise’s name does not return a trailer for the new film, interviews promoting it, or any sort of ancillary tie-in. Instead, it returns results showing Cruise espousing on scientology, a reviewer giving bad review of the new film, and clips showing Cruise appearances on various talk shows over the years, but nothing from the studio advertising the movie.

In the second and final part of this article, we will examine more of what went wrong with the marketing of Knight and Day, and cover some ways in which these mistakes can be remedied in the future.

Domenic Carlson writes on behalf of inSegment, Boston’s leader in Internet Marketing, Online Marketing, and the home of Boston SEO.

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
Carlson, Domenic "Internet Marketing, SEO and Hollywood." Internet Marketing, SEO and Hollywood. 10 Jul. 2010. 27 Oct 2014 <>.

APA Style Citation:
Carlson, D (2010, July 10). Internet Marketing, SEO and Hollywood. Retrieved October 27, 2014, from

Chicago Style Citation:
Carlson, Domenic "Internet Marketing, SEO and Hollywood"

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