Film production, social media marketing and participatory culture

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

The Danish youth film ‘Lev Stærkt’ (Live strong) is recently shot in Aarhus, and as part of the release and marketing plan, the producers incorporate social media showing behind the scenes video clip as a way to include and engage the film’s target groups a year before the planned release. Using Facebook and the mobile, photo-based app Instagram as the main platforms, the producers of the movie are following the users and followers online closely to understand but also stage and direct their expectations in the relation to the movie. As such, the marketing of the movie is representing a new tendency within film and TV industry, in which behind the scene clips and comments are used in advantage to promote the product, as well as using social media as the main marketing channel (Caldwell, 2008; Gray, 2010; Johnson, 2012).

Social media marketing is in itself representing a new field within branding and marketing, and there is a boom of new handbook literature describing “Everything You Need to Know to Get Social Media Working in Your Business” (Wollan & Nick Zhou, 2010). Social media makes it easy to engage the consumers as strategic communicators, it is cheap and fast compared to print and electronic media, and it demonstrates that the film company are fashion-conscious when it comes to new media and marketing tools.

The history of ‘participatory culture’ might be seen in the light of digital online media, in which the boarders – following Habermas concepts - between lifeworld, public sphere and market, respectively, are getting blurred. Social media marketing illustrates this mixed culture in an excellent way. This new media culture is challenging the very understanding of media democracy in itself, and has caused a committed academic debate, of both critical and more optimistic viewpoints (e.g. Couldry, Livingstone & Markham, 2007; Gauntlet, 2011). ‘Participatory culture’ might also been seen in the light of culture policy, in which the concept of ‘cultural democracy’ and cultural citizenship – an important issue within Scandinavian social democratic culture policy history – describes a model focus on how to include and empower the citizens’ diverse cultures (Skot-Hansen, 2002).
By using the online marketing strategy of Danish youth film as an example, I will discuss the different cultural values that are at stake at the same time and critically discuss how social media marketing is challenging the very concept of ‘participatory cultural citizenship’ in itself.


Caldwell, John Thornton (2008): Production culture - Critical Practice in Film and Television, Duke University Press: London, Durham.

Couldry, N., Livingstone, S. & Markham, T. (2007): Media consumption and public engagement: beyond the presumption of attention, New York, N.Y.: Palgrave Macmillan.

Gray, Jonathan (2010): Show sold separately, New York: New York University Press

Gauntlett, David (2011): Making is connecting: the social meaning of creativity from DIY and knitting to YouTube and Web 2.0, Cambridge, UK, Malden, MA: Polity Press.

Johnson, Catherine (2012): Branding television, London: Routledge.

Skot-Hansen, Dorte (2002) ‘Danish cultural policy--from Monoculture towards Cultural Diversity’, in: International Journal of Cultural Policy, Vol. 8, Issue 2, pp. 197 - 210

Wollan, Robert Smith, Nick Zhou, Catherine (2010): Social Media Management Handbook: Everything You Need to Know to Get Social Media Working in Your Business, Wiley: Hoboken, NJ, USA
Original languageEnglish
Publication year2013
StatePublished - 2013
EventRethink Participatory Cultural Citizenship - AU, Godsbanen, Kunsthal Aarhus, Hovedbiblioteket m.m., Aarhus, Denmark
Duration: 13 Nov 201316 Nov 2013


ConferenceRethink Participatory Cultural Citizenship
LocationAU, Godsbanen, Kunsthal Aarhus, Hovedbiblioteket m.m.

See relations at Aarhus University Citationformats

ID: 69613514