Paul Fenech is one of the most prolific writer/director/actor’s in Australia. He has been the creative force behind over 100 half-hour comedies (which were regularly SBS’s highest rating content), 2 movies, 2 books, and 500 stage shows.
Some in the Australian entertainment industry may roll their eyes in disdain at his often controversial creations: Fat Pizza, Swift n Shift Couriers and most recently Housos but say what you like about Fenech and his productions – you can be assured he doesn’t care.
However, he does care about his fans and has built a reliable brand consistently giving them what they want. He knows his audience and his audience loves him. Recently he has been engaging via Social Media with 60,000 Facebook fans of his TV show Housos about making a movie. See below for screen grabs from the Housos Facebook page.
WARNING: the below images contain course language
In April this year he got 6,000 likes, announced he was making a movie and then asked for content suggestions:
Then he asked for his audience to provide extras, locations, cars and assistants:
Recently he put a call out to women with tattoo’s to volunteer to be in the movie or ‘hot skanks’ as his favourite character would say. This language would offend a lot of people but Fenech knows his audience understand the humour and fully expect it. Having direct communication via Social Media means Fenech can carry on like his character and make the experience fun for his fans, without offending anybody else.
Paul Fenech is using Social Media to create and promote his film at the same time. Every post stirs up and excites his fan base at no financial expense. Traditional media (posters, previews, newspapers etc) is expensive and restrictive in comparison. Facebook can generate excitement, anticipation and direct engagement with a fan base like never before and for no cost. Australian producers can simply not ignore this powerful medium. Social Media campaigns should be an integral part of the entertainment industry marketing mix.
UPDATE 11 May 2012
It appears the movie production is in full swing, here Paul is promoting the trailer, the November release date and asking for cinema location requests from his fans to then lobby exhibitors.