Hot Tub Networking Machine

Based on the title, I had no interest in seeing “Hot Tub Time Machine.” Granted, I typically like John Cusack and Craig Robinson, but this one just looked lame. Then, when the reviews came out, and predictably the movie got some uninspiring reviews.

Then something social network-ish happened. My friend Mike Fasolo called me and told me, “ignore the reviewers. Go see this movie.”

Now, before I go any further, it’s worth noting that people trust their social network. Content is king, but context is what make the content personally relevant. They certainly do not trust the mainstream media.

I ignored the critics, hopped in my car, and caught an early showing of Hot Tub Time Machine. Know what? Mike was right. It was very funny, and I’ve recommended it to other people who have memories of the 1980s.

And this is why buzz marketing and social media marketing is so important. People have greater trust for the people in their personal social circle than they even do for paid professionals. Disney even recently canceled the iconic At The Movies show after 24 seasons of thumbs up, thumbs down reviews.

Hot Tub Time Machine clearly isn’t for everyone. It’s not a movie made for critics, but neither are mainstream movies like Avatar. The critics tend to like more highbrow entertainment, which makes sense.

In the end, HTTM will probably find it’s audience on DVD and BluRay, which is fine. It’s works just as well in a home theater as it does in a megaplex. Ultimately, the movie will travel organically and inexpensively through social networking channels.

Many marketers are still struggling to find that perfect social-media marketing formula, so they can tap it every time, like turning on a water faucet. But that’s exactly why social media is so effective. People trust their social network precisely because it’s not supported by advertising dollars. It’s fueled, instead, by people who just want to share with their friends. And you just cannot bottle and sell that.

  • Harry

    sho’nuff!

    People trust their peers’ view over a branded message. A branded message speaks at you while a peer is someone on “your side” of that communication.

    I’d take Mike’s comments over Roger Ebert’s ANY DAY! –well maybe just most days 😉

  • Barry

    Hi Buddy.

    I plan to attend your appearance this weekend and came across your blog.

    I do not dispute your post regarding the significance of social networks versus mainstream media, but as a regular viewer of At the Movies (who will miss it when it is gone) I feel it appropriate to point out that Michael Phillips and A. O. Scott both said “See It” in their review of Hot Tub Time Machine!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l-qtsSrAdlU

    Best,

    Barry

  • admin

    Barry – Yup, good point. I think that the reviews I was reading tended to give it low ratings. In this case, I hadn’t actually seen the At the Movies review, I’d just heard that the show was canceled. But I think that I tend to trust people in my personal social circle more and more and mainstream sources less and less.

    I look forward to meeting you on Saturday night. Please come up and introduce yourself!

    PS: Harry is right too. You should trust Mike Fasolo. Everyone should trust Mike Fasolo.

    –Buddy

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