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Digital Marketing: HP Autonomy at the Sundance Film Festival 2014 - Part 4

Catching the buzz at Sundance

In my first couple of posts on Sundance, I talked about what we are listening for: that combination of people, key phrases and locations; which does an excellent job of capturing information about the film festival and offers us a great view into what people are thinking about Sundance, but we realized that it’s not a very film-centric collection of information. Yes, included in the chatter about Sundance is what people are saying about the films; but people also talk about the movies without mentioning Sundance. This festival really is about film.


To better analyze the films themselves, we decided to expand the scope. I’m adding listener rules specific to the films showing in Park City, whether or not Sundance is mentioned. The Sundance social media team gave me a list of those 114 films, their official Twitter user names, and the hashtags they use. That spreadsheet also contains the names of each director and their Twitter name; usually one person, but sometimes two or more. But the fun thing about it is all of the actor names, and all of the actor’s Twitter handles. Even though we’re just looking at Twitter, this is a huge set of parameters to target in a meaningful way.



EVE: Valkyrie by CCP Games 2014


First the easy part…

The film’s Twitter names were given to the ExploreCloud listener directly and, like I did with @SundanceFest, I asked it to capture everything said by the films, to the films, and mentioning the films. I can also use the list of directors in exactly the same way—everything by, to, and about them with a couple of exceptions that I’ll talk about in a minute.


Next the film’s hashtags…

Also very easy, you can just capture anything that includes one of the film’s hashtags. This works for most all of the films, but there are a handful that needs extra attention. Films like Dinosaur 13 and White Bird in a Blizzard use hashtags that are really only going to be used when talking about the films: #Dinosour13 and #whitebirdinblizzard. Most of the festival entries are like this. But a few have names and use hashtags that are pretty generic, like Frank, Blind, and Happiness for example. Those hashtags would bring in comments about uncle #Frank, how #blind Sue is not seeing that Mark is in love with her, and—a lot of really inspiring pictures for #happiness. While Uncle Frank is definitely an amusing guy, he’s not what we want in our command center. So for these films, I follow the same method that I talked about in Part 2 of this series with the keyword “Sundance” as an added qualifier. In this case it looks like this:


“Sundance” AND (#frank OR #blind OR #happiness)


Using this string, you get anything using those hashtags, but the message text must also mention Sundance in one way or another. As this example shows, I can use Boolean and logical operators in the ExploreCloud listener rules. They can get very fancy if necessary, but I generally keep it all pretty simple like in this case.


Now the actors…

For the actors, we need to treat them like we do those generic film hashtags, with the Sundance qualifier. The reason for this is that actors are generally involved in several projects at once, not just the Sundance films we’re interested in, and they talk about those also. But more importantly, for this use-case, many actors have large and energetic Social fan bases where they talk about Sundance, and the films, but much more volume is about the actor. For example, Camp X-Ray staring Kristen Stewart (“Bella Swan” of Twilight fame).There is your universe of fans talking about the Sundance Film Festival, the universe talking about the Camp X-Ray at Sundance, and then there is the universe talking about how awesome the universe is because Kristen Stewart is in it. The Venn diagram looks something like this:




A few of our directors fall into this category, so they get the same treatment; like Zach Braff, for example. He directs and stars in Wish I Was Here, which is premiering at Sundance, but he and his 1.3 million Twitter followers talk about a lot more than the film.


Our new expanded scope will give us much more insight into the films, and we’ll dive into that in the coming days.




Edited by Robin Hardy

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About the Author
Martin Cuéllar, Director of Product Marketing for HP Software, is a Subject Matter Expert within HP Autonomy Emerging Technologies. Martin’s...

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