In Saturday's New York Times, on page 7 in the C section, print advertising mystifyingly turned into new territory after a movie studio paid for a full page ad to prominently display a single tweet.
The studio(s) in question, presumably either CBS Films or StudioCanal, displayed a single Twitter tweet, with a fancy border and a few words, to promote the Coen brothers' Oscar contender, Inside Llewyn Davis. The film and its soundtrack are favorites of Times film critic A.O. Scott, so instead of running a standard movie advertisement, they opted for a cribbed version of this Scott tweet, and a blurb from Scott's 2013 year-end review: "The best picture of the year." The tweet, border and blurb take up roughly 20 percent of the page; the other 80 percent is is white space.
Now you're wondering how much Hollywood paid for full page ad only to embed a tweet, which they could have done on the Internet, anywhere, for no money. The answer is, well, we'll never know. We can only estimate. Companies never disclose that information, and we will never know what kind of bundles the studio purchased. Buying in bulk is smart business.
Update, 2:58 p.m. According to The New York Times media kit, a full page ad for a movie in the C section from Monday-Saturday
costs $840.00 costs roughly $106,848. (On Sunday the cost goes up, to $1,011.00.) (On Sunday the price goes up, to $127,386.)
For his part, Scott seemed astounded by the new-media-on-old-media action
we have reached a strange new place in marketing when tweets become full-page print ads.— a. o. scott (@aoscott) January 4, 2014
The rest of the world was similarly speechless: