Sony Entertainment's Michael Lynton: Social Media Helps and Hinders Movie Marketing

Michael Lynton - P 2012
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Michael Lynton - P 2012

"Some films are good and others aren't so good," the exec confesses.

Twitter, Facebook and the rampant use of online social media make it nearly impossible to market movies that "aren’t so good," Sony Corp. of America and Sony Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton said Tuesday.

“The biggest issue for movie studios has always been that some films are good and others aren’t so good,” Lynton said at the D: Dive Into Media conference in Laguna Nigel, Calif. “Originally, marketing was supposed to smooth that out. But we can’t do that anymore. With social media, you can no longer hide the goods.”

On the flip side, if you have the right film to market -- like Zero Dark Thirty and Skyfall -- social media can be a huge benefit, Lynton noted.

“If you have a good movie and the right people see it, you can put that message out there and accelerate the promotion process. But if those people don’t like it? That’s a very difficult message to muffle,” Lynton said.

“Marketing is a complicated recipe,” he said. “If you don’t have all the right ingredients, the recipe falls flat. Social media is definitely part of the recipe. We like social media.”