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A Lifetime Opportunity

Have you ever wondered why some movies such as The Avengers and Pirates of the Caribbean are blockbusters?

Yes, certainly, charismatic actors, good story lines and action-packed elements do greatly contribute to their triumph. 

However, there is  one other crucial aspect that we, as consumers, might have overlooked.  

During the 3-week mid semester recess, about 40 students were given a rare opportunity to attend an Entertainment Marketing and Promotion workshop conducted by Cory O’Connor, Chapman University Advertising Professor.

Prof O’Connor graduated from the University of Southern California and Harvard University, earning a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Business Administration in Marketing, respectively. Upon graduation, he spent nine years at The Disney Channel. Subsequently, he worked for HBO, several Internet start-ups and the American Film Institute.


His belief in the marriage of marketing and creativity led him to launch Disney's American Teacher Awards and set up a national literacy promotion for The Disney Channel's 10th anniversary, among others.


The course, which taught us to market entertainment through integration of PR, Advertising and Design, spanned two weeks at The Agency from 9.30am to 4.30pm. We were divided into two groups with both attending a week of lessons each.


During the 5 days, we were further broken up into teams of 5 or 6 and named after prominent advertising agencies -- Chiat Day, Wieden + Kennedy, Saatchi & Saatchi and Rubin Postaer and Associates (RPA) -- from the United States.


Our task: To produce and present a complete an integrated marketing plan of a given film by the end of the week.


A film’s marketing plan encompasses 4 phases: Overview, Film Festival Strategy, B2B Strategy and Consumer Strategy.


A marketing plan by Prof Cory’s student


Identifying marketing strategies and tactics, target audience, appropriate festivals to launch film, Public Relations activities, use of social media platforms and a great deal of research are some of the many components comprising these phases. 


Each team was given a storyboard of a short film and guiding materials. Based on the assumption of it being a feature film -- one that runs for 40 minutes or longer -- we had to construct a plan that included almost every element of the phases.


The activities leading up to the plan brought students' creativity to life.

A marketing plan presentation by one of the groups


What started out as an intimidating lesson gradually morphed into one that was enriching and unforgettable. It was a journey that took us through deeper exposure and understanding of the advertising and marketing world.  


Apart from being an integral contribution to our knowledge, these 5 days have brought people with passion, enthusiasm and from all walks of life, together. Relationships were established and tears were shed but they have left a lasting impression on each and every one of us.


In the words of Entrepreneur Jim Rohn, "Take advantage of every opportunity to practice your communication skills so that when important occasions arise, you will have the gift, the style, the sharpness, the clarity, and the emotions to affect other people."


Written by Lossini Jeyapandiyen

Year 3, Diploma in Media and Communication