Bios - XTVN - Q&A

                   
We asked a simple question: what happens if we bring together the world’s best micro-budget filmmaking talent and advertisers looking for demographically targeted audiences?
 


 

Online Feature Film Sponsorship

What’s the big idea?

There's no more doubt - marketing is moving online. In the USA Pepsi was absent from the Superbowl ad break for the first time in 23 years. Broadcast TV and print media are on the ropes, hit hard by reductions in ‘eyeball hours’. But as people go online for entertainment they scatter to the four corners of the web. This makes it hard for advertisers to find concentrations of potential customers, or cut through the noise and differentiate their message.

Our new startup XTVN.com solves that with what we believe can become a regular alliance of advertisers and content creators: establishing exclusive deals with carefully selected brand partners and providing a precise concentration of potential customers in one place. We achieve this by producing tightly demographically-targeted feature film entertainment and making it available to view online as well as via the traditional distribution channels.

As we developed marketing strategies for our films, we noticed that by building a demographically specific audience we were also creating something extremely valuable to advertisers. Furthermore, by working together with the corporate sector and pooling resources and brainpower, we can achieve far better results in drawing customers to a specific website than either of us could by working alone.

Traditional film distributors are still afraid of the web, believing the risks of piracy outweigh the benefits of publicity. We know that any financial shortfall can be made up by advertisers more than happy to see a film file-shared, simply because their brand logos are being circulated with them. Furthermore creating content specifically for this purpose has the added effect of honing the target demographic far more tightly than traditional film ever would.

 

 









Additional benefits of this method are immediacy and permanence. If you’ve paid for product placement in a feature film before, your brand was visible for at best a few seconds to an audience in a theatre or living room. With online distribution, your logo - and with it a link to your company’s website - are potentially visible throughout the film, and will remain online for new audiences to discover in perpetuity.

The first film out of the gate is likely to be The Booze Cruise, a road movie comedy aimed at 15-35 year olds (incidentally also a group also most likely to already have experience watching feature films on their computers). As this is the first film to use this proof-of-concept sponsor-driven business model we’ve deliberately kept the budget low, yet certainly within the ballpark of many other independent feature films, including the last two our associates have produced.*

We have a UK sales agent who will be taking the film to markets and festivals to sell overseas territories and additional distribution channels such as pay-per-view, TV and DVD, as per traditional film distribution, which will only serve to increase the spread of your brand awareness to a broader audience base and demographic.

In summary we feel that the time is right to throw open the doors to a new era in distribution and brand-integration and we very much look forward to hearing your thoughts, ideas and contributions on this exciting new territory.

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* Christine Hartland produced the critically acclaimed WMD www.wmd-insidestory.com which was one of the first films to launch with the innovative distribution model of simultaneous UK theatrical release & iTunes launch in 2009. The film has been described as: “undeniably gripping... definitely worth a look” – The Guardian.

* Yvonne Deutschman produced and directed The Power of Three starring Toyah Willcox

 

 
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