Honoring the Half-Fan

As the strategies for online marketing evolve, some filmmakers (especially those who are working on adaptations or sequels) have found success by over-serving their most passionate core fans.

For example, some film franchises have reached out to the most passionate online fans - providing one-of-a-kind immersive experiences that are recorded and then spread via social media.

The video at the top of this posts illustrates one such campaign - an outreach to core audience members - that was part of the Game of Thrones launch on HBO. As the video illustrates, the immersive marketing firm Campfire (working on behalf of HBO) provided some very avid fans of the Game of Thrones books an unexpected gift of physical objects from their favorite fictional world - items that could be unboxed and then shared via video on social media. The Campfire Game of Thrones campaign was timed to make an impact online just before the storyworld of the books was introduced to a wider audience as television episodes on HBO.

But what about the people who already really like your work - and might already be on the path to becoming ardent advocates - but, so far, aren't numbered amongst your core audience?

What about your half-fans?

What about the followers and friends who might become deeply committed social media evangelists for your work - but aren't quite there yet? 

What about the half-fans - "who love the show but live in distant orbit around it?"

Don't half-fans deserve love too?

As Grant McCracken explains in an April 21st, 2015 post to CultureBy, fans who "know the characters and the major plot points, but... don’t know or care about the very fine details" need to be catered to too.

After all, aren't half-fans the most likely candidates to evolve into full-on fans?

As Geoffrey Long of USC (who's Facebook post inspired this post) has observed: "I keep coming back to the elegance of shows like X-FILES or BUFFY or STARGATE for how they balanced accessible monster of the week episodes with overarching super-stories. A well-crafted episode has both, so a casual viewer doesn't feel lost if they only catch a single mid-season episode but are drawn into the larger mythos by a few scenes or lines of dialogue. Which, BTW, Marvel's DAREDEVIL is doing a fascinating job of, with its subtle linkages to THE AVENGERS and the war in New York."

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