New Muppets movie utilises social media
While Kermit, Miss Piggy and the rest of The Muppets have graced our screens since the 1970s, the group is experiencing success on a different screen – the computer.
The latest puppet-centric movie – due to be released by Walt Disney Pictures in the US on November 23 – has used a multi-pronged marketing campaign focused on several social media platforms.
Relaunching the Muppet brand via a presence in the new digital sphere began in 2009, with a viral video created depicting an array of Jim Henson characters covering Queen's epic hit Bohemian Rhapsody.
The video has since been viewed over 23 million times on YouTube and initiated the studio's move into social media – as well as provoking thoughts of a movie for a 21st century.
Actor Jason Segel was brought on board to co-write the new script, along with his 'Forgetting Sarah Marshall' director Nicholas Stoller.
Both avid Muppet fans and savvy social media users, the pair provided the incentive for the studio to deploy a marketing campaign focusing on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube and smartphone apps.
The official Muppets Facebook page has more than 1.1 million fans, with pages for individual characters, images and videos also created as part of a "Fan-a-thon" campaign.
Twitter offered the Muppets studio a platform for social media users to interact with both characters and actors from the movie.
The Muppets Studio Twitter account is manned by heckling characters Statler and Waldorf, with tweets referring to Segal's role as guest host on popular comedy show Saturday Night Live.
Segal's own Twitter account has also provided more of a human angle to the social interaction – conversing with American cook Rachel Ray, who also makes a cameo appearance in the film – while hashtags relating to characters such as #TeamGonzo have emerged as trending topics in
The Muppets was also one of the first brands to join Google+ – cementing the studio's place in the world of social media.