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Video Content Marketing: The Making of Clips

Xuan Liu, Savannah Wei Shi, Thales Teixeira and Michel Wedel

JM Insights in the Classroom

Full Citation: ​
Liu, Xuan, Savannah Wei Shi, Thales Teixeira, and Michel Wedel (2018), “Video Content Marketing: The Making of Clips,” Journal of Marketing, 82 (4), 86-101 .

Abstract Article
Consumers have an increasingly wide variety of options available to entertain themselves. This poses a challenge for content aggregators who want to effectively promote their video content online through original trailers of movies, sitcoms, and video games. Marketers are now trying to produce much shorter video clips to promote their content on a variety of digital channels. This research is the first to propose an approach to produce such clips and to study their effectiveness, focusing on comedy movies as an application. Web-based facial-expression tracking is used to study viewers’ real-time emotional responses when watching comedy movie trailers online. These data are used to predict both viewers’ intentions to watch the movie and the movie’s box office success. The authors then propose an optimization procedure for cutting scenes from trailers to produce clips and test it in an online experiment and in a field experiment. The results provide evidence that the production of short clips using the proposed methodology can be an effective tool to market movies and other online content.

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Topic Areas: ​
Advertising; Digital Marketing – Customer; Entertainment Marketing (e.g., Sports, Movies, Hospitality, Tourism); Marketing Analytics; Marketing Communications; Online Display/Video Ads

Special thanks to Kelley Gullo, Ph.D. candidate at Duke University, for her support in working with authors on submissions to this program.


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Xuan Liu is Senior Data Scientist, Netflix.

Savannah Wei Shi is Assistant Professor of Marketing, Leavey School of Business, Santa Clara University.

Thales Teixeira is Lumry Family Associate Professor, Harvard Business School, Harvard University.

Michel Wedel is PepsiCo Chair in Consumer Science, Robert H. Smith School of Business, University of Maryland.