Rotten Tomatoes

Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share

15 March 2018

Rotten Tomatoes website survey warns advertisers

For any self-respecting film nerd, the Rotten Tomatoes website remains a first stop in choosing movies. Usually, Film Twitter fills me on what’s good and what’s not. But the aggregate score on the Rotten Tomatoes website gives me the quick and dirty.

Rotten Tomatoes websiteTurns out I’m not alone. Film Twitter, the nickname for critics and other cinephiles when discussing cinema on Twitter, is finding itself responding to angry studio executives lately. They’re upset because critics are wielding greater influence on viewing choices. And Rotten Tomatoes is being blamed as the main culprit.

How about that? Film critics actually making a difference. It wasn’t that long ago when critics were becoming increasingly despondent because no one read them. They might still be right. But the score on RT comes from critics’ reviews and they are affecting box office numbers.

A new study from Horizon Media reports that 75% of ticket buyers say the Rotten Tomatoes website carries some influence on their decisions.

What’s most interesting about the report is that respondents said they use RT to cut through the advertising hype. So, no matter how much Paramount spends on hyping Baywatch, its lousy 18% rating on RT dooms it.

“With respondents in the report saying they want to cut through the advertising clutter, here’s what I think they mean. They don’t trust it.”

But why? I think it’s a simple answer. There are so many viewing choices available to us that we need to cut through the clutter. We live in the era of Peak TV where viewers (and networks) complain there’s too much TV. How to sort through everything?

The Rotten Tomatoes website gives potential viewers a quick and easy resource to simplifying the process. The site now even includes rating for TV shows. Thank God for that, huh?

The Rotten Tomatoes website becomes important because few trust advertising

There’s another facet to this advertisers in general should consider. With respondents in the report saying they want to cut through the advertising clutter, here’s what I think they mean. They don’t trust it.

That’s a warning for any advertiser. Not just studios. We hear and see thousands of messages each day. (The logo on a pen you use is a message.) The only way to truly reach an audience is to be better and different than everyone else.

We always tell clients that, sure, you can outspend your competition to be heard. But in truth, that only helps awareness. And you can still be ignored without an impactful message.

So much advertising is all the same, especially within specific categories. All automobile advertising looks and sounds the same. Same for fast food. Hell, when’s the last time you saw a pharmaceutical ad that was different and better?

What studios face isn’t all the different than what any advertiser deals with. Rising above the noise is harder than ever. No wonder viewers spark to Rotten Tomatoes.

See more posts in the following related categories: Movies Rotten Tomatoes


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