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The Love Guru Online

BETH ACCOMANDO : Looks like you are covering your bases by setting up sites with FaceBook, MySpace and YouTube. Are you tailoring the sites for each and if so how?
AMY POWELL : All of our profiles are designed and maintained to connect with the specific audience, user behavior differs from site to site, so it's important to keep the content relevant and inline with how the user is accustomed to interacting on a each site, while still maintaining the central goal of building up the world of The Guru Pitka in an entertaining way. Mike Myers developed the character The Guru Pitka from scratch and spent years refining him, and so we are now working directly with Mike to utilize his internet expertise and extend the character organically to the online community. The clearest example of this is YouTube, where the primary focus is our Mini Sutras Videos located on a branded "Love Guru" channel at www.YouTube.com/TheLoveGuru. In hysterical videos that will be rolled out through release, Mike Myers as The Guru Pitka expands upon his teachings found in the film, and users are encouraged to create their own videos as responses, creating a dialogue between the character and potential moviegoers through video.

BA : How are studios viewing the Internet? Some films have created a huge buzz on the Internet but then failed to do well at the box office (like Snakes on a Plane ), so is it still a bit of a mystery as to how to use this new media?
AP : The internet is a constantly changing and exciting area for a marketer to be in with endless potential. It's important to remain forward thinking yet flexible, evaluating each film and developing a strategy that fits, creating a meaningful experience for moviegoers. Because of the nature of the online environment, we are able to take a character such as The Guru Pitka, who has been years in the making by Mike Myers, and extend him beyond what the audience will see in the film, and even create a meaningful two-way dialogue between the character and the various social communities such as Facebook, MySpace and YouTube.

BA : What are your hopes with these multiple sites?
AP : The myriad of sites we are creating are designed with the central goal of building up the world of The Love Guru , and integrating this exciting, original character in a meaningful and organic way with each specific audience. By building beyond a central destination, the content can be tailored in such a way that it is immediately engaging and we can reach a broader audience then would be achievable through the use of just banner ads driving to a singular destination.

BA : Who designs the content? Are the filmmakers or actors involved in any way?
AP : Mike Myers developed the character of The Guru Pitka from scratch and spent years refining the character before bringing him to film. Given that he knows the character better then anyone, and is particularly internet savvy, Mike is closely involved in every step of the process to help bring the character to life for the online audience. We also have a wonderful team of creative vendors who we work closely with to create the content.

BA : How will you be able to judge if this was a success?
AP : We constantly monitor all the sites to gauge interaction, a successful campaign to us is one that inspires potential moviegoers to interact and share our content with others, which hopefully then translates to box-office success.

BA : Is there anything about these sites and new media that is exciting for you?
AP : Each site offers up new and unique ways to engage with the consumer and build a complete story around our characters. Facebook, in particular, has allowed us to connect with users through activities that they perform everyday. Through the use of popular applications, we are able to introduce our content so that it is entertaining and not invasive to their experience.

Well if this has peaked your curiosity, check out the sites for The Love Guru for yourself:

Official Love Guru Movie Site
www.TheLoveGuru.com
Vacation with Pitka feature - upload you photo and insert the Guru!
Film Content such as stills, trailer, and downloads.
The Guru Pitka Will Teach You Sitar Flyer

The Guru on Facebook
www.Facebook.com/TheLoveGuru
Win a year's supply of hot, sticky Cinnabons courtesy of The Guru by fanning our page!
Viral Soundboard of funny lines from the film to pass along to friends
"Widgetized" video from the film

The Love Guru on MySpace

www.MySpace.com/TheLoveGuru
Friend our profile for the chance to "Get Lei-ed in Hawaii"
First person character profile created by The Guru Pitka
Weekly character blogs from The Guru Pitka
Guru with Celebrities photo gallery

The Love Guru on YouTube
www.YouTube.com/TheLoveGuru
Weekly "Sutra" videos by Mike Myers as The Guru Pitka - with 1,071,108 video views to date

Guru Pitka Viral Site

http://www.TheGurupitka.com
Hub for Weekly "Sutra" videos by Mike Myers as The Guru Pitka
Word of the Week and Compound Word of the Week Videos from Mike Myers
Guru with Celebrities photo gallery

I liked the video on MySpace the best and the Viral Site had some funny Yoga Poses and Zelig-like celebrity pics. We'll have to wait and see if these sites help make The Love Guru a summer hit.

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