Technorati Inks WOM Pact With Paramount

  |  May 17, 2006   |  Comments

Studio to harness and aggregate blogosphere to support new releases.

Blog search engine Technorati will announce today a long-term, multi-film marketing agreement with Paramount Pictures. Under the agreement, Technorati will aggregate blog posts about films and related subject matter to post on the film Web sites. Technorati will also run ads for the films on its own site, as well as foster further conversation through other promotional efforts.

Technorati Chairman and CMO Peter Hirschberg told ClickZ, "When you look at what independent film is, it's all about capturing word-of-mouth. Word-of-mouth is incredibly ephemeral. In the blogosphere, if you can capture all that stuff and have a film site put up a tent and serve as a home or community for that, suddenly the film is visible. This is in essence what we're doing."

The first effort will support "An Inconvenient Truth," a documentary about former Vice President Al Gore's crusade against global warming. Posts will appear today on the film's promotional site, Climatecrisis.net, which was created by Paramount. Aggregated information will discuss the film as well as the general topic of global warming. Paramount editors can highlight interesting or controversial posts on their own site. The site also features RSS feeds on global warming-related topics from major news sources.

The aggregated content will not contain full text posts, according to David Sifry, Technorati founder and CEO. "It's to drive people back to the blog. [Bloggers will] feel empowered. It's kind of like 21st century letters to the editor. It's setting the agenda. And for the studio, it's showing the power of the people formerly known as your audience. Rather than ask people to blog on their site, which has proven somewhat difficult for many film companies, they're collecting it."

In addition to running an ad for "An Inconvenient Truth" on the Technorati homepage, the "favorites" section will feature Al Gore's favorite blogs. Ads for the film will also appear on "selected media partner sites" today.

On Monday, Paramount's SVP of Interactive Marketing Amy Powell delivered a keynote at the IAB Broadband Summit in which she discussed working with Google to deliver marketing messages for the upcoming "Nacho Libre" to a very small, select group of influential bloggers.

"There's been a lot of interest recently from the film industry in working with us," said Hirschberg, "They're the first brands who want to bring conversation to their advertising. Giant industrial companies don't love it when you're talking about them. Film companies do love it."

Technorati has worked with independent studios such as Lions Gate on marketing and advertising initiatives.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Rebecca Lieb

Rebecca was previously VP, U.S. operations of Econsultancy, an independent source of advice and insight on digital marketing and e-commerce. Earlier, she held executive marketing and communications positions at strategic e-services companies, including Siegel & Gale, and has worked in the same capacity for global entertainment and media companies, including Universal Television & Networks Group (formerly USA Networks International) and Bertelsmann's RTL Television. As a journalist, she's written on media for numerous publications, including "The New York Times" and "The Wall Street Journal." Rebecca spent five years as Variety's Berlin-based German/Eastern European bureau chief. Rebecca also taught at New York University's Center for Publishing, where she also served on the Electronic Publishing Advisory Group. Rebecca, author of "The Truth About Search Engine Optimization," was ClickZ's editor-in-chief for over seven years.

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