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Marketing Lessons from Hollywood (Part I)

Business owners can learn a lot from Hollywood. Aside from their entertainment value, blockbusters teach us valuable lessons in brand storytelling and marketing strategy. A heap of time and money goes into driving awareness of a film, with every profitable franchise succeeding on the back of a successful marketing campaign.

These days there is little mystery around how a film is made, with the audience brought into the fray through interviews, trailers and social media. Films such as Anchorman 2 have even made marketing materials an extension of their world. In the lead up to the film’s release in 2013 , Anchorman front-man, Will Ferrell, appeared on local news stations and car commercials as his character Ron Burgundy.

Let’s not let Hollywood have all the fun. Follow these marketing lessons to see how your business could see some real ‘silver screen’ benefits.

1. Be everywhere

The top reason for a successful marketing campaign is exposure. The biggest blockbusters generate interest through a wide range of marketing materials, from trailers and movie posters, to social posts and promotional toys. The release of Star Wars: A Force Awakens and Jurassic World were supplemented by the sale of branded drink cups and popcorn holders in cinemas. This level of exposure is obviously not accessible to those without millions of dollars lying around, but the sentiment is clear: get your name out there.

Simply put, if people don’t know who you are, they won’t need – or want – your product. The top point is engagement. If you fail to start interactions with customers, your competitors will do it for you.

While JPI Media cannot promise your logo on shirts and billboards, we can spread your message across a range of platforms that local communities will see day in and day out. Don’t be afraid to promote yourself across a variety of different platforms and mediums. When it comes to marketing channels, the more the merrier.

2. Play around with product placement

Product placement has become one of the biggest jokes in the film industry. Brands such as Apple have always been awarded significant screen time in Hollywood, with the majority of university-based films featuring a student glued to their MacBook or iPhone. Some examples are less subtle, such as the movie-shaped piece of branded content known as The Lego Movie.

Whatever the extent, there’s little doubt of its effectiveness. Nike sales skyrocketed after the 1985 release of Back to the Future and this positive treatment of the brand has no doubt changed customer perception over the years. This collaborative aspect to advertising allows both Back to the Future and Nike to capture new audiences: those who wouldn’t normally buy trainers as well as those who wouldn’t normally buy movie tickets.

Of course, it’s not that easy to get Robert Zemeckis’ help in promoting your brand, but fortunately there are similar, cheaper products that utilise this subliminal messaging.

At JPI Media, one of our most effective forms of native advertising (and product placement) is Sponsored Content. In the name of our client, our editorial experts will publish an interesting/inspiring piece of content across our local news websites.

Whereas traditional advertising tends to be prominently promotional, sponsored content allows for more interactive in-depth storytelling. The great thing about this piece of content is that it can be about anything relevant to your business; own a DIY shop? We’ll publish a piece with tips for doing your own decking. Manage a grocery? We’ll publish a list of the top under-appreciated seasonal ingredients. Both ideas are interesting in their own right, and will put your business in the mind of the reader.

Audiences are more likely to be reached by marketing if they’re not aware they’re being marketed to. While people might begrudge product placement in movies, this hasn’t stopped audiences flooding to see the next blockbuster.

Enjoyed this blog? Tune in to Part II..

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