As one of the first major Hollywood filmmakers to launch a paid channel on YouTube, the legendary Roger Corman stepped into the digital universe by unveiling “Corman’s Drive-In.” Mr. Corman retained Priority PR to handle the PR, marketing and social media campaigns of his new channel, which is part of YouTube’s new platform offering viewers more channels through a paid subscription model.
“Corman’s Drive-In” -- launched in the summer of 2013 – gives the Oscar winning director the opportunity to take his treasured library of more than 400 classic films directly to his fan base and to reach a new millennial audience. From “Attack of the Crab Monsters” to one of Jack Nicholson’s first feature film appearances, Priority PR had plenty of pitch angles to choose from to put “Corman’s Drive-In” on the digital map with consumers.
We kicked off the PR campaign by arranging an exclusive story with the Associated Press, which also assigned a photographer to snap new photos of Mr. Corman to accompany the story.
In the Associated Press interview, Mr. Corman told the reporter he turned down a licensing offer from Hulu for about $5,000 to $6,000 per film, but sees promise in the YouTube channel. “I believed for many years that the future of motion picture distribution, particularly for independents, is digital,” said the 87-year-old director. “I think that time is now.”
Mr. Corman’s wife and producing partner, Julie Corman, said they were taken aback at YouTube’s potential after a clip of their 2010 movie “Sharktopus” went viral with 11 million views. “The numbers were astonishing,” she said. “We were waiting for the fireworks.”
After the Associated Press story broke in hundreds of outlets in the U.S. including “Corman’s Drive-In” photos displayed on the Reuters sign in Manhattan’s Times Square and the Clear Channel sign in Las Vegas, Priority PR rolled up its pitching sleeves and went to work. We secured feature stories in the entertainment trades, USA Today, CNET.com and The Los Angeles Times. In fact, the Los Angeles Times ran our story online and in the Daily and Sunday print editions – a triple media hit as the story was shared over 4,000 times. Of course, Movie Geeks United, Bloody Disgusting and Geeks of Doom have been following Mr. Corman for some time and naturally picked up the story.
On the event planning side, Priority PR worked with the Corman camp to book an appearance for Mr. Corman at the Apple Store in New York and promoted his appearance as “Old Hollywood Meets New Media in Soho.” While in New York for the Apple Store appearance, Priority PR secured major coverage for Mr. Corman including a “Day in the Life” feature in The New Yorker, an appearance on Huff Post Live and a photo shoot/interview with director Jonathan Demme which was featured in Interview magazine.
Focusing on the younger target demographic, Priority PR booked Mr. Corman on such radio shows as KLOS’ morning drive time “Heidi and Frank Show,” “Entertainment Weekly Morning Live” and interview/chat programs on Sirius XM satellite radio. YouTube’s PR department had this to say about our efforts, “Great work with coverage of Corman’s YouTube channel, arguably the best of any channel out there so far.”