The History Channel’s new miniseries The Bible proved anew the power of faith-based content to draw eyeballs.
The new independent film Emperor, starring Tommy Lee Jones as Gen. Douglas MacArthur, scored a tidy $1 million at the box office over the weekend despite a tiny publicity push and a limited release schedule.
So what do a Biblical epic and a World War II drama have in common? Both utilized non-traditional marketing to thrive in arenas dominated by liberal content. It’s a lesson conservative artists should take to heart.
The Baltimore Sun notes how The History Channel used existing research, combined with an outreach effort to social media “influencers” like Pastor Rick Warren, to boost the ratings.
What’s really impressive is the way the Hearst- and Disney-owned channel gets the word out on a series like “The Bible” using social media, conservative online outlets and media-savvy church leaders.
For Emperor, Roadside Attractions reached out to key demographic groups to juice enthusiasm for a movie that otherwise might have gained little attention over the weekend.
With a grassroots program via the American Legion and a spot on TV’s highly rated History Channel show “The Bible,” Roadside targeted the older demo and markets like San Diego and Virginia, where there is a strong military presence.
The message is clear– audiences for both spiritual stories and adult-minded military dramas are waiting to be served. Thanks to savvy planning, social media and the speed of the Web, those audiences can now be tapped more easily than ever before.