‘Girl Walks Into a Bar’ Premieres on YouTube to 260,000 Viewers


On Friday March 11, Girl Walks Into a Bar, the first feature length movie specifically made for the Internet made its debut on the YouTube Screening Room. By Sunday night more than 260,000 people had viewed the 90 minute comedy.

According to the press release issued Monday by Shangri-La Entertainment the film’s online audience translates into $2.6 Million worth of ticket sales in its opening weekend. Of course, there were no tickets to sell, the movie was free to watch and the costs to stream it to viewers on YouTube were underwritten by Lexus.

Girl Walks Into a Bar produced by Sebastian Gutierrez and produced by Gato Negor Films and Shangri-La Entertainment is a comedy starring Rosario Dawson, Danny DeVito, Josh Harnett, Carla Gugino, Zachary Quinto and Emmanuelle Chriqui. The movie follows a group of seemingly unrelated people around Los Angeles during one night through lounges, bars, strip clubs and even the occasional nudist ping pong club.

Producer Sebastian said of the movie:

“This signals a new era in independent film distribution and leaves no doubt that audiences are willing to watch long form content online,” said Sebastian Gutierrez. “I’m so proud of the cast of this movie and fascinated by the direct interaction between them and the actual viewers, who have responded in numbers beyond our expectations.”

Unfortunately Girl Walks Into a Bar is blocked outside of the US. I, myself was forced to use… ahem, alternative methods in order to view the movie. The movie itself is fine, but seems to be trying way too hard to be clever. However it contains a few great scenes that anyone who watches will surely recall, including a robbery at a nudist ping pong club.

Is a web-only, brand-sponsored distribution model the way of the future? While this is a one-off experiment, I think that it’s inevitable that we’ll be seeing more of these web-premieres taking place as movie theatre attendance continues to decline and people get more accustomed to streaming movies through Netflix or iTunes.

It’s Complicated. Reuniting Ken & Barbie on Social Media

Ken and Barbie on Social MediaHonestly I had no idea that these two icons had even broken up. It turns out however, that Ken Carson and Barbie Roberts (yes, they did have last names) have been an on-and-off thing one since they first met in 1961. Things were not well at the Barbie dream house apparently. In fact, in 2004 Mattel issued a press release stating that they were going to spend some time apart, and as we all know it’s not true until the press release has been issued. According to the barbieandken.com website Barbie had actually started dating an Aussie surfer named Blaine.

Welcome Back

Now in 2011, on the 50th anniversary of the debut on the Ken doll, and after a triumphant return in Toy Story 3 he’s back and he’s looking to win Barbie’s heart again, and he’s looking to do it just in time Valentine’s Day.

Mattel has created a website at barbieandken.com where visitors are asked “Should Barbie take Ken back?”. Ken hopes that enough people say ‘Yes’ and that the Love-o-meter goes all the way to the ‘Soulmate’ status. Mattel has also created new profiles for Ken on Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare and are the inspiration behind a new reality series Genuine Ken, a Search for the Great American Boyfriend. Oh, by the way there is a new Sweet Talking Ken doll available in stores, with the striking look and physique which makes Justin Bieber look like the Incredible Hulk. (sorry Biebs)

The streams on the various platforms are a combination of promotion and cute interaction between the two characters. Ken leaves a tip on Foursquare as he reminisces about better times, “Barbie was a little afraid of heights, but I held her hand the entire time during our ferris wheel ride. A little kiss always helps calm the nerves.” Or we see Barbie tweet, “No better distraction for me during this whole @OfficialKen business than #NYFW. See you at the shows!”

Finding Barbie on Match.com

Observations

While the campaign is very clever there is one thing that pops out at me. First of all, who is this campaign aimed at? It certainly isn’t the young girls who would be playing with them. It seems to me that this is targeted at adult users of these social media platforms, which begins to make sense as these are the people that will be buying the dolls for their daughters, nieces or younger family members.

It turns out the dolls were already appearing in stores a week before Valentine’s Day in boxes emblazoned with the message ‘She Said Yes!’. It would have been fun to see coordinated events happening in stores on the Saturday morning prior to Valentine’s Day, providing discounts on the dolls to people who check in on Foursquare of Facebook Places. Encourage tweeting and Facebook status updates, as well as uploading and tagging photos from the events to their profiles on Facebook.

Seems, you can’t keep anything secret these days. Good luck Ken on sorting out the ‘It’s Complicated’ relationship status.

Update: It’s Valentine’s Day and Barbie did say Yes! To celebrate Ken and his Kentourage appeared at Toronto’s Union Station handing out pink roses in celebration of his new relationship status. The current campaign will run until March and there  is a plan for two more phases yet to go in 2011.