Hey peoples, Flobo here!
If you’re like me, when you were in school you both looked forward to and dreaded the days when a substitute teacher walked into the classroom. Sure the was the feeling of not having to work as hard, but there was also the concern of trying to find something to entertain yourself with for the rest of the class period. Some people made “fortune tellers”, others had an epic Tic-Tac-Toe war. For me, (and my desire to not have a paper trail) it was playing This Or That. Give someone two options about anything and watch them squirm in trying to pick one. The game wasn’t invented by me, and even big companies do it:
Why? Well, because companies know you have a choice. If you are having a craving for SODA (I’ll accept Cola, but “pop” is a sound effect, not a beverage), you literally have dozens of options. So what better way to try to get consumers to try your stuff than to say “Hey buddy, our stuff is better. Honest.” Remember these ads from a few years ago?
Apple drew a line in the sand. Either you are a Mac person or not. For me personally, I rock both equally. I type this on a Mac desktop, while my PC laptop is charging. I listen to music on my iPod, while my Nokia Lumia 900 cellular phone runs on Windows. It’s a not a big deal for me, but people do pick a side hardcore. In the film industry, most equipment is Mac, full stop. Someone who goes “I’m a PC guy” there is asking for it. In gaming, it’s the opposite. Apple is gaining ground, but PCs are the kings and queens of gaming machines.
So what does that have to do with your writing? Well, we see how external “battles” make consumers pick a side, but what about battles within your own works? Drawing that same line in the sand along character or story lines can actually drum up interest in the further events of your book/screenplay/graphic novel. I can’t believe I’m using this as an example, but remember the whole “Twilight” bonanza from a while back? People wore shirts that claimed their allegiance to either “Team Edward” or “Team Jacob”. I haven’t read the books or seen the movies, but I’m assuming their conflict was an essential part of “Twilight”. With that said, the campaign had done it’s job. I had no knowledge of the book before, but after the “Which Team You Are On?” thing, I had just enough information on the books to decide whether or not I would be interested in it. Side note: I wasn’t, but that is not to say the campaign wasn’t successful. Then again, we all know who’s team I’m on:
Hey, she wasn’t that bad in Zathura! And Zathura was pretty underrated. *Off Soapbox*
As a writer, it is easier to drum up interest for something like this through social media. Creating dueling Twitter accounts and/or Facebook pages is a way for you to get this “battle” across. Let’s face it, everyone loves a fight, and why not cultivate one that benefits your work?