Earlier this morning while driving I heard a radio advertisement actually refer to the Vampire Diaries as “the TV show the Internet is buzzing about.” Really.

It's positioning like this that underscores how crucial it is to master what industry analyst Chris Brogan refers to as “tomorrow's radios,” a.k.a “Internet buzz” (barf). At this point you'd be hard pressed to find a company that hasn't attempted social media campaigns and Hollywood is behind, ever late to the game trailing behemoths like GM and Skittles (remember the General Motor's Tahoe failure?). In fact the only successful social media campaign we've seen is the Inglourious Basterds red carpet tweet up, a blatant attempt at influencer outreach which annoyed me so much I saw the movie just to prove that it sucked (it didn't).

The future of entertainment advertising will be a cafe-shaped experience (see 50 Cent's social network) and in this vein Sony Pictures has partnered up with Cracked.com and Universal McCann to launch a promotional zombie themed social-network, a tie-in with the film Zombieland, which opens Oct 2.

Zombiesornot.com will feature Zombie-generated content (ZGC) and enable users to share Zombie-fied pictures of themselves. The community can then vote on any of the zombie picture submissions on a scale of 1-5, and the one that looks most like a zombie wins.

Because the Millennial generation ignores traditional push advertising, CEO of Cracked.com Oren Katzeff said perhaps the solution to declining entertainment advertising ROI is to “think outside the 300 by 240.”

When asked why Hollywood is seemingly slow to catch on to online engagement, Katzeff replied, “The online landscape changes so frequently [that] even when you're in the space and you live and breathe it, you're slow to the game. [Hollywood's] not in it the way we're in it, so it's natural to be slow and not realize what success is.”

Success in this case being more movie goers butts in seats, which in online speak is, “the more unique users = the more eyeballs = the more people filling the seats.”

When asked whether he had seen the film himself, Katzeff mused on the current state of entertainment. “Just because a movie might not be great, it doesn't mean that we say no to the advertiser. That's just nature of the beast when taking RFPs (requests for proposals from studios). Entertainment's a tough business.”

Yeah, especially when you're pushing something called “zombie-skins.”

LA Weekly