New Media Star Tucker Max in Salt Lake City
Love him or hate him, Tucker Max is an Internet phenomenon who would not exist without technology. Never heard of him? The twenty something womanizer and party dude has leveraged his free wheeling ways into Internet fame and a writing career. Now he’s attempting to become a movie producer.
Max was in Salt Lake City last night to premiere his movie, I Hope They Serve Beer In Hell at Brewvies Cinemapub. I went down to check it out. When I heard about the event on City Weekly’s Facebook page I couldn’t believe it. Tucker Max in Utah? That’s a serious oil and water combination!
I also wasn’t sure whether the event would be successful. Just in case, I went about an hour early to be sure of getting a ticket. It turns out, I was about four hours too late.
So why am I talking about Tucker Max?
The whole Tucker Max phenomenon is a living, breathing example of word of mouth advertising. I first heard about him on a message board. He initially became famous by emailing his escapades to his friends who then forwarded them on to their friends. Then he created a website. Then he wrote the book the film is based on. Now he’s got a movie.
Because of the sexually charged content and foul language, mainstream Hollywood isn’t interested in the film. Max is completely self promoting and distributing the movie. Quite a difficult task.
Along with the cast of the movie, Tucker Max is touring the country on an ambitious quest to develop enough interest for widespread distribution through regular Hollywood channels.
Even though I didn’t get into the Salt Lake premiere, others did. I was hoping to share a story like this about the event, but instead I’ll write about the impressive word of mouth campaign that’s being run.
Mainstream advertisers are cancelling his ads after protesters started following Max around, so he’s relying on his fan base to turn this project into a success. Max claims his print book has sold over a million copies and his Facebook fan page has 128,000 members…more than Bath and Body Works I talked about in a previous article. Quantcast shows traffic across his various web properties to be about 50,000 a month with a huge increase on the movie’s site in the last month.
No amount of publicity can make a product successful unless the actual product is good. That may be where Max’s efforts could have failed. The Deseret News says –
Tucker Max, an Internet and publishing phenomenon thanks to his wild tales of woman-bashing depravity and brazen political incorrectness, wrote and produced this movie “based on a true story, unfortunately,” adapted from his memoir. The laughs in this cave-manly comedy come from Max’s wild exaggerations about the insults he flings, his cruelty to women and the women who fall for his hateful pickup lines.
The review gets worse.
A blogger that did make it in at Brewvies wrote –
The movie, just like the book, is; disgusting, degrading, offensive, amoral, and is completely wrong on so many levels. None the less it is one of the funniest things I have ever seen in my life.
She plans to see it again.
I have not read the book, but I have read his site. The stories are definitely everything the critics say they are, but the guy is a great marketer. You don’t have to be offensive to be a great marketer like Tucker Max but you do need to:
1. Be willing to talk about yourself…in your own voice. Be yourself, that’s what makes you unique.
2. Embrace technology. Max’s marketing tools have evolved over time from email, which got him his start, to blogs and Facebook.
3. Go for it! Tucker Max is living his dream. He’s taking on Hollywood in a very competitive business and he’s doing it on his terms.
I’m not sure whether this movie will be the success Tucker Max envisions, but I’m sure the lessons he learns on this journey will help him greatly for his next venture.
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