Are you one of the millions of people that flocked to a cool theater on a hot summer day to see Jurassic World? But as you sank further and further into your seat as the Indominus Rex thundered across the screen, I’m sure you weren’t thinking about the marketing machine that powers a summer blockbuster movie of this scale.
Each year, the movie industry churns out a line-up of summer blockbusters that bring people out in droves, and each year the bar gets higher, with opening weekends topping a whopping $208 million. So how does Hollywood generate the buzz needed to get people into the theater?
Promote and Partner
Hollywood mega-earners are promoted everywhere and anywhere that their audience is looking and engaging. From YouTube Ads, to fast-food toys, to cereal, to the traditional movie billboard—as an observer, you’ll see blockbuster promotions almost anywhere. In fact, studios are always coming up with new ways to promote their movies, including partnerships. Recently, Universal Studios partnered with Amazon to place its lovable Minions on outgoing Amazon packages to promote the upcoming movie Minions. As a marketer, it makes you ask the question: How can I be partnering and promoting more creatively?
Sequels: Hollywood’s Best Friend
It’s barely a secret that if Hollywood finds success with a feature film, especially a summer blockbuster, a sequel will launch within a couple of years. Take a look at the anticipated blockbusters for summer 2015: Avengers: Age of Ultron (sequel), Jurassic World (sequel), Magic Mike XXL (sequel), Minions (basically a sequel); almost half of box office releases are sequels. Why? Because Hollywood understands that once a story and its characters are blockbuster successes, they likely will be able to do it again. Hollywood has become so savvy to this fact that they started adding bonus scenes and teasing the next movie at the end of a feature film. This builds anticipation and buzz well before a film is even complete.
So, what can we take away from this as marketers? For one, look at your content like a blockbuster film. If you have something that was extraordinarily successful, how can you create a sequel to that content? Can you give your audience bonus content, or tease the next piece of content at the end to build buzz?
Take a look at more marketing lessons from Hollywood’s blockbusters in our infographic, Blockbuster Marketing: Lessons from Hollywood’s Mega-Earners:
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