Whoovering Up Some New Fans

There has been much talk about the Doctor Who ratings this year which have dropped to their lowest since the series returned to the screens in 2005. There are a number of suggestions by entertainment reporters for this drop; a bad timeslot, lack of new characters, difficult competitors. Is it cause for cancellation? Of course not, but it is time to try and bring some new audience members into the fold which is exactly what this iconic British TV show is looking to do.

Doctor Who Peter Jackson

A rather ambiguous video was released online this week. Featuring legendary fantasy director Peter Jackson, most well-known for his work on The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings trilogy, the video features Mr. Jackson grumbling about Doctor Who producer Steven Moffat pestering him to direct an episode of this historic show. His is then delivered a contract to sign by the current Doctor Peter Capaldi who is shortly chased out of the room by a Dalek. Check it out below:

Does it confirm any speculation that Peter Jackson will be directing an episode of Doctor Who in the future? No. However, it does fuel a fire of speculation which has this TV show making the entertainment headlines once again.

So how is this significant from a marketing perspective? The withholding nature of this video which doesn’t reveal the most crucial piece of information is key to its success creating discussion and word of mouth. The star power contained in this video is a great way to increase the share-ability. But it is the possible outcome which is the most marketable!

Brand partnerships are one of the most common brand-building strategies. Just like two heads are better than one, two brands are much more powerful because they are able to pool their audiences and hopefully transfer the love one brand’s audience has over to the other and vice versa. They can be really effective with endorsements but there is little guarantee that the followers of one brand will actually want to adopt the other when they come from markedly different industries (as they often do in fear of competition).

But what if we didn’t worry about competition? That is exactly what this Doctor Who and Peter Jackson partnership will show. These two entertainment monoliths are competitors. Both Lord of the Rings and Doctor Who would probably have some cross over in their audiences. Fans of both iconic entertainment properties. But does that mean they should stay far away? Not at all. Peter Jackson directing an episode of Doctor Who will bring hordes of his fans over to the quintessential British sci-fi show because chances are if they like one fantasy show they will like the other. It is an easy transfer – and hopefully bringing it back to a ratings winner!

Worrying about competition takes up way too much of our time. If your product is so fulfilling for your audience that they cannot live without catching the latest installment (whether that is a Doctor Who episode or a Lord of the Rings movie) then there is no need to worry about another brand stealing your audience. If your product is that good then they will stay with you!