Day and date approach to movie marketing

A couple of years ago I casually commented to my wife that I liked the song “Bailamos” by Enrique Iglesias. Within a couple of days was my birthday and among the gifts that I received was a CD with the song. Well, I enjoyed listening to that particular track but did not like any other track. I felt cheated and my wife was disappointed that there was only one good song on a CD with over a dozen songs. And like millions of other consumers, I tried to argue why we had to pay for things that we did not want. We would not do that in any other aspects of our lives.
Photo of the poster of the movie Bubble.
Fast forward a few years. iTunes (and other similar music services) have now made the game fair. You pay for what you want. But the game is still unfair in the world of movies. Why should anyone pay over $20 (for two; even more for families) for watching a movie in a theater when you can watch it for much less a few months later on DVD or on-demand. And if you are patient enough, you can watch it on television for free later on.

Well the game is about to change with the launch of a movie called Bubble. The movie is opening not only in theaters but it will also be available almost simultaneously on pay-per-view and DVD. The term for this type of launch is “day-and-date.” In a word of blogs and podcasts in which I choose what I want and when, it is time for Hollywood to change according to my needs. And it seems that smart folks like Mark Cuban know what I am talking about.

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Ford, GM, and DiamlerChrysler victims of their own mistakes

I had been expecting the layoffs and plant shutdowns for months, if not years. I am still disappointed though that the companies have opted to choose the simpler route (almost anyone can layoff employees and shut down plants to become profitable) rather than addressing some very fundamental problems affecting them. After all, foreign carmakers are thriving right here in the USA selling cars to the same folks that GM, Ford, and DaimlerChrysler are selling to.

So what can we learn from the poor strategy of these companies?

    Make sure that you understand your cost structure. Get outside help if you are afraid that your own managers will not give you an accurate picture.
    There is nothing worse than competing on price alone to improve short-term results. As I had said previously, aggressive discounting during 2005 has caused permanent damage to these companies. It will be almost impossible to get premium pricing for their cars even if they are superior.
    If you know you are in trouble (and I hope that these executives knew it all along), it is better to act as soon as possible. Delaying action only makes the tasks more difficult and hope for success small. Just ask Merck management.

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