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Horizon optimizes media strategy

New marketing tool to aid planning, execution

NEW YORK — Those optimization models that have Madison Avenue media buyers so enthralled are about to debut in Hollywood, courtesy of Neal Lemlein, managing partner at Horizon Entertainment, and John De Simio, until recently senior VP of Castle Rock Entertainment.

Their model’s seriousness, if not its importance, is signaled by its appellation: “Significant Impressions Matrix,” or SIM.

Lemlein softens the academese a bit by explaining the idea is to allow the marketers of entertainment properties to put their bait not only where the fish are but also where the fish are biting.

4 types of sells

What’s more, neither he nor De Simio is averse to walking through this media-buying mine field, particularly as it pertains to four types of movie sells:

  • The early attendee (aka action-adventure, sci-fi, horror) sell. Early attendees are mostly young males in urban areas. And the way to move them, SIM says, is “massive frequency” just before a movie’s release “to close the sale.”

  • The maturity market (or “as young as 35-plus”) sell. This group is said to be more cautious in its movie-going decisions. The learning curve is “flatter and longer,” SIM says, as should be the media-spending curve designed to sell maturity-market movies. “It’s more of a snowball effect,” De Simio explains.

  • The environmental sell. This group adheres by virtue of lifestyle rather than by age, sex or other demographics. What brings it together can be almost anything, which sets up “different marketing parameters” for almost every product.

  • The saturation (or megamovie) sell . One word: “Godzilla.”

    “The whole idea,” De Simio summarizes, “is to be like a ‘smart bomb’; to put (a movie’s media budget) where it hurts the most … to eliminate slop.”