The Perks of Being a [Social] Wallflower


Film marketers are buying more and more in to an idea that we here at ViralNfection have always known: true movie experiences go beyond the theater.   Unfortunately, the level of dedication needed to create such an experience around a film is usually reserved to big budget action pics that sink major dollars in to their viral marketing.  That’s why I was so intrigued by the growing fan base on the upcoming art-indie flick, The Perks of Being a Wallflower.

While the film’s source material became a rallying cry for the unseen and unheard teens of America’s high school halls, the film is doing an equally brilliant job of breaking the cookie-cutter mold of acceptable teenage self-image and advocating unique creativity.  The activity on social media outlets has been fueled by calls to action for fan art, testimonials, and sharing.   I don’t mean just sharing links and marketed pictures and memes, but real authentic sharing of personal experiences with the story.  A “Fan Testimonials” tab on the site allows readers to post how Perks affected them personally.  Most of the posts come from teen fans, like Paul from Atlanta.

“The Perks of being a Wallflower means a lot to me. […] I dealt with similar situations … so it was really nice to know that I wasn’t alone.”

But the posts are not just limited to those fringe teens characterized in the novel – Laura from Indianapolis posted as well:

“…it made me think of those wallflowers I see in school a little more.  It definitely opened my eyes in many ways.” 

The beauty of the book and the upcoming film are their ability to connect in a very real way with an audience, not just in a flashy marketing “come-see-our-film” way.  The message here is important, even more so since it is coming primarily from the fans themselves.  In a moment of society where the fringes are feared, bullies are prevalent, and violence is all too often birthed from neglect, this film has become an important mouthpiece allowing the underrepresented to represent themselves and connect with others.

The film has a powerful young cast with Emma Watson (Harry Potter) and Logan Lerman (Percy Jackson) sure to bring passion to the long-awaited screen version.  Still, the real experience of this story isn’t happening in theaters or on the pages of the best-selling book, but in a teen’s life near you.

Perks opens to limited engagements on September 21st, 2012.  Interact on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Tumbler
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by contributing writer, AllMIKE’dUp.
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