Remembering Your Roots

Every product has its roots. Granted, those roots may not look quite as classy as the current evolution. But it is those roots that have got the product to where it is today – an advantage which Broadway’s Matilda is using to their full advantage.

Illustration by Quentin Blake

Illustration by Quentin Blake

It is easy to hear of Matilda: The Musical and think of the popular movie which we all watched during our childhood. But the popularity of the movie can sometimes overshadow the simpler roots of this musical phenomenon – the Roald Dahl book.

Teaming up with Penguin Books, Matilda has taken full advantage of the current technological developments to bring the musical’s main target audience back to the story’s humble beginnings. This has been done through the creation of monthly Google Hangouts starring Roald Dahl’s daughter which are set up as a book club solely featuring books written by Roald Dahl.

Drawing children, who love the musical, back to the original books is a cool bit of social marketing making it ‘cool’ to read books. And by extending the popularity of Roald Dahl’s other literary offerings, his brand’s popularity is also being extended to children who were previously unaware that the musical came from one in a selection of an inventive collection of books.

But I want to focus on something pretty interesting that this Google Hangout is doing which separates it from a simple Q&A with the author’s daughter.

The Google Hangout is live streaming a certain classroom each month as part of the Hangout. From their physical location, these kids can virtually ask questions to the author and contribute to the discussion. But more than that, there is suddenly an incentive for the viewers to get their schools to participate in the innovative educational tool (assuming that the average audience is still at school and is not a 22 year old who writes an entertainment marketing blog).

And from this advantageous position where kids are actively trying to get their school involved in the Hangout, there is great benefit to the Roald Dahl brand, the Matilda brand and the cause to encourage wider reading in young children.

Roald Dahl’s wide catalogue is being promoted to his main target audience of school children with creative imaginations and a drive to change the world by appearing on a Google Hangout with his daughter. The children are actively participating by reading the books and being exposed to new people who have differing opinions or can provide some background about the books.

AND the Matilda brand is making its way into every classroom!

That will encourage children to nag their parents to take them to either the New York production or a future touring production and expose them to a whole different medium of creativity.

Everybody wins!

Plus, who knows, this increased exposure to the Roald Dahl collection of books may encourage more of his stories to make their way onto the stage in addition to Matilda and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Myself, I am dying to see The Twits turned into a Broadway show – especially that scene where all their furniture is glued to the roof and the upside-down rooms cause them to go insane.

To check out these Google Hangouts, visit the Matilda Facebook page by clicking here.