• Movielink-Target Download Promotion Makes No Sense to Me

    Yesterday I received the below email from Movielink promoting a "Steal of a Deal" offer with Target. Here's how it works: I purchase an Ocean's Thirteen DVD at a Target store and I receive a code that then entitles me to download Ocean's Thirteen from Movielink.

    Maybe I'm missing something (and please let me know if I am), but this promotion makes no sense to me and instead seems to possibly undermine the value of the Movielink service.

    As with all marketing and promotional efforts, the starting point must always be "What's our objective?" So what is Movielink's objective here?

    To expose people to the Movielink brand and service? That wouldn't make sense since I only received the email because I was on their email list in the first place.

    To demonstrate there's consumer appetite for downloading the same that was just bought on DVD? That seems like a silly and sort of pointless thing to prove in the first place if you believe the ultimate opportunity for digital downloads is to be a DVD substitute, not a compliment.

    To expose people to the breadth of Movielink's service? That's worthy, but the offer is limited to downloading the same title that was purchased, so the user isn't incented to browse and see the full breadth of the Movielink catalog.

    Maybe there's another objective, but if so I don't see it. Instead I think the campaign ends up detracting from Movielink by confusing the user and not creating any really new distinctive value. Think about it - if you're a consumer that just bought the Ocean's Thirteen DVD, what new value is the download providing you? (Let me know if you can think of anything, I can't)

    Movielink could have enhanced this campaign to greater effect in lots of different ways. Ideas: Open the download choice to anything in the catalog. Or make the download easily giftable to a friend to virally increase Movielink's awareness. Or create a rewards-style program that gives DVD purchasers credits toward subsequent downloads. And so on.

    I'm not trying to pick on Movielink's marketers, I see this kind of thing all the time. Murky objectives coupled with confusing/underwhelming offers. For broadband video to succeed - either in paid or ad-supported, marketers must be extremely thoughtful and precise about what they're trying to incent their target audiences to do, and how that specific action helps build the business.

    -Will Richmond