Video game fans are no strangers to exclusive content being released along with the sale of video games. Most exclusive content comes from purchasing the game from certain companies, (whether the gamer chooses to purchase the product from GameStop, Walmart, Amazon, etc.). Some video game companies attempt to promote the purchase of their product through offering free exclusive content pertaining to the console the game is purchased for. Similar to this method, Hollywood has made an attempt to advertise their products through networking websites.
In recent attempts to advertise, companies have begun to utilize social networking to connect with fans and promote their products. Through using the temptation of exclusive information, the companies are able to promote their product through offering a type of ‘prize’ for connecting with their official pages.
In “Friends, Friendsters, and MySpace Top 8: Writing Community Into Being on Social Network Sites,” Danah Boyd states,
Connecting to a Profile allows users to see their bulletins, which companies and celebrities often use to provide ‘exclusive’ information. Some companies offer incentives to beFriend them, such as being entered into a drawing. Lastly, MySpace and X-Men collaborated to offer a desirable feature that was only accessible by becoming Friends with X-Men. (Boyd)
In anticipation for the release of Disney’s Maleficent (2014), the official Facebook page has advertised for fans to win exclusive, behind the scenes featurettes. A new sweepstakes has been created and posted exclusively to the Facebook website.
To increase fan anticipation, Disney has released “Embrace Your Inner Evil” sweepstakes. To enter, fans are asked to film themselves recreating Maleficent’s iconic laughter and post it to Instagram. This sweepstakes is a product of both Disney’s accounts on Facebook and Instagram, creating a unique opportunity for fans of the pages to win tickets to the world premiere. The sweepstakes being available on sites such as Instagram and Facebook takes away the need for fans to befriend the company or product, allowing fans to feel more freedom in obtaining access to the ‘exclusive’ content. The video has been considered to be viral, thanks to its originating post on Facebook, resulting in fans posting the video to other places, such as YouTube.