Jackass 2.5 Online – Kicking and Bucking Hollywood Marketing Tradition

Jackass 2.5 Online – Kicking and Bucking Hollywood Marketing Tradition

Industries continue to modify their marketing and distribution strategies to use the full potential of the Internet. The latest proof of this is the new “Jackass 2.5” movie and Hollywood’s innovative shift from conventional movie business practices. Viacom, Paramount Pictures Digital Entertainment and MTV New Media will completely bypass the traditional theatrical release of their film “Jackass 2.5” in favor of an online launch and distribution.

“Jackass 2.5” will be the first studio-backed film to be offered online for free streaming over a two-week span beginning December 19, exclusively on Blockbuster’s website. After January 1, 2008, Blockbuster will get exclusive online VOD rental rights via MovieLink, and the DVD will be available for sale at major retailers and sell-through platforms including Amazon’s Unbox and iTunes. In February, the movie will move onto its new website JackassWorld.com. The international release next year will use the same strategy with different distribution partners.

Tom Lesinski, president of Paramount Pictures Digital Entertainment, told The Wall Street Journal that the movie was a natural for this bold move because “there are hundreds of millions of people online watching video every day.” To The Hollywood Reporter he explained why they considered this deviation in tactics for a full 64-minute movie, bucking the conventional wisdom that shorter is better: “We’re trying to shake up the model. We’re trying to prove that some form of longform [full-length film] distribution can be successful on the Internet.”

Their marketing strategy is being remodeled along with the new distribution plan. Instead of traditional yearlong promotion through 30-second television spots and print ads, the movie will utilize short-term intense viral marketing and video messaging featuring the film’s star Johnny Knoxville. The short-term campaigning is aimed at young males and is timed to reach them at home during the holidays.

It will be interesting to see if this ballsy experiment helps transition Hollywood into a mainstream digital media player.

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