I am sure, if you are anything like me, you saw that there was a Justin Bieber movie released this past February and classified it as another Jonas Brothers or Hannah Montana groupie film. I remember at the theater seeing lines and lines of millennial aged girls who were coming to see Justin on the big screen in droves. Actually, I believe the majority of the people that went to see this film were girls under the age of 15, though they accounted for an impressive $30MM opening weekend box-office take. If you didn't go see this movie in the theaters I totally understand. I guess I would have looked funny at a middle-aged man or woman with no kids buying tickets to see Never Say Never (though it is a good title for a James Bond flick.)
But you can't ignore the cold hard facts, that a 16-year old boy has in effect transformed the social media landscape and has ignited one of the most important, and hard to reach, demographic segments in history. Every marketer has to agree that the Justin Bieber story is extremely compelling and it is impressive to see how a young kid has been able to leverage social media to build a direct relationship and dialog with his fans and followers. I think the Bieber story is a testament to everything that is possible online, and should give real hope to every marketer out there that there is a way to ignite their target markets and have a true engaging relationship with their customers.
In case you have not see the stats, these should blow you away:
- Twitter Followers: 9.5MM = Pop. of Sweden & approx 3% all Twitter traffic
- Google Results: 315MM - Osama Bin Laden - 67MM & Jesus - 340MM
- Facebook Fans: 27MM - Coke - 23MM & Starbucks - 20MM
- MySpace Friends: 1.3MM
- YouTube JustinBieberVEVO: 1.6B views
- YouTube Kidrauhl Channel: 330MM Views & 1MM Subscribers
I am confident any marketer out there would love to create or even tap into this emotional tsunami. The Justin Bieber movie gives you an interesting and historical perspective on how this young, talented kid, went from almost nobody to the most influential person online in less than 18-months.
From being discovered on YouTube to tapping into the web to circumvent the existing monolithic music machine to selling out Madison Square Garden in 22-minutes, this film packs the experience into an engaging 2-hours. Oh yes and by the way the music and personal story isn't that bad either, especially if you have children of your own.
One of the most interesting segments from the film talks about how, by leveraging Twitter, Justin Bieber was able to tap into his early fans and call on them to showcase how much they loved him and his music. He would tweet when he was going to be at an event or location in advance, and was able to show the traditional music execs and investors how fanatic his followers were, and where the money was.
The movie also chronicles the time from when Justin was discovered, to the ups and downs of becoming a viral and social phenomenon. They interview many of the influencers of the music industry and it is clear they are all blown away by how quickly he has taken off.
'Truly a phenomenon, even groups like Back Street Boys and In Sync took years.' - Randy Philips - AEG Tour Promoter
For anyone that is trying to leverage social media or build a fan base, or even light the viral wick, this movie is a must see to help give real insights into one formula that actually worked. Maybe this is a perfect storm, but there is plenty to learn from in this film and hopefully be entertained at the same time.
The DVD is coming out on Friday (5/13) and I strongly urge anyone that is trying to market to millennial demos, or even if you are trying to grasp how much of a seismic shift the internet has had on our lives, this is a movie you should see.