Southland Adventuring, Video Projects, New Media Musings & Web Ephemera

Monday, November 24, 2008

Why we Follow Felicia: Analysis of The Guild's Success Story

Today marks the announcement of the sponsorship deal between Microsoft and Felicia Day’s The Guild. Being the smarty pants marketing genius lady she is, this announcement arrives just a day before the launch of season 2. Everyday there are a plenty of great new web shows being released, but time and again I find myself skimming through an RSS feed filled with stories about Felicia. So why, why do we (creators, fans, media) go crazy for all things Felicia and what makes her so gosh darn successful?

  1. We need a Star to follow…

While web video has had seen its share of fairy tale success stories, the “happily ever after” is offline. TV gigs, feature films, that’s what the dream used to look like. It’s the dream we’re familiar with. When Felicia achieved some mainstream success in Dr. Horrible, she still continued to sweat through the little show that made her a web star to begin with. The Web community loves Felicia because she’s web grown and she’s staying here (though not exclusively). She’s the face of the new web celebrity.

  1. We need precedence…

So much about the Guild sets the standard for everyone who follows. While the rest of us have floundered in a rev-share nightmare, Felicia did it right. From building an audience, to winning awards and securing sponsorship, Felicia has taught us what success on the web looks like.

  1. She brought an audience with her…

It doesn’t hurt that Felicia had a multiple episode run on Buffy. Those fans are crazy! And while plenty of Buffy and WoW fans were already online, they weren’t necessarily keyed into the web video thang. With the advent of the Guild, a whole fan base of people from differing interest vectors aligned behind their new favorite show.

Youtube pulls so much traffic, it seems reasonable to concentrate on their user base exclusively. Why not? There are millions of people there already! If Felicia had been happy with the viewers the Guild gained organically through search and discovery on youtube, we wouldn’t be talking about the show today. Reaching out to different niches has been the key to success, and it’s brought a whole batch of new nerds over to the indie web scene. Thanks.

  1. She’s got the right team…

Sandeep Parikh, Kim Evey and George Ruiz are all web personalities in their own right, but they’re also key members in the Guild team. Starring, producing and… agenting respectively, these three have been crucial to the Guild breaking out and becoming a full blown hit. But the help doesn’t stop there. Famously, the last half of Season 1 was financed by rabid Guild fans after initial funds dried up. Felicia may be party leader, but she’s shown us how to mobilize an army… or at least a decent sized raid party.

  1. And she makes it look so easy.

Above all, Felicia brings savvy and grace to web video. She knows her stuff, hell – she helped invent it. She’s notoriously protective of her work, bargaining for the very best deal she could possibly make. It’s inspiring to listen to her tell her story, so of course news outlets love her. Seeing a well spoken, attractive, successful young woman speak on a new media panel sure as hell beats the alternative. That’s what you call star power.

The Guild may get plenty of fan and press attention, but it’s well deserved.

I guess what I’m trying to say is: Codex FTW.


worldofhiglet said...

Excellent analysis of why Felicia has such a huge following and why what she is doing is important.

Plus she's, you know, really cool!


Brian said...

Interesting Sir. I like your perspective! Really nice, thoughtful, article!

Catherine Butterfield said...

She's also a lovely actress and has a sweet vulnerability without being cloying. That helps.

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