Let Your Partners Do The Work
Disney is reigning in marketing for their biggest blockbuster release of 2015. That isn’t a sentence that you hear very often. Film studios will often use a blockbuster strategy where majority of their money goes behind the biggest films because they reap the best profit. But this year’s blockbuster release isn’t any old movie. It has been 32 years in the making!
Star Wars will be returning to cinema screens across the world on December 17th. It has already set incredible records for pre-sale tickets. Records for the most tickets sold in one day. And will most likely take out the record for the biggest opening weekend (which is ironically held by the other recently reincarnated classic Jurassic World). Yet Disney have elected to spend very little money on marketing their latest addition to the Star Wars franchise.
Is it simply because they don’t need to? Partially. Word of mouth has been incredibly strong around this much loved entertainment property with fans endlessly discussing the possible storyline for the sequel and news outlets picking up any potentially controversial decisions by the creative teams as leading entertainment stories. But this free publicity isn’t the only reason why Disney aren’t spending a lot of money on marketing.
Although Disney isn’t setting spending records on this record-breaking production, many others are.
For this latest instalment, Disney has nominated a select group of major brand partners including Covergirl, HP, Duracell, General Mills and, the phone that all storm troopers choose, Verizon. Each of these companies has purchased the right to use Star Wars characters, storylines and align their products alongside the latest film in advertising campaigns. Advertising campaigns that will be highly vetted by Disney to ensure brand continuity.
Then there are the brands that are selling Star Wars-themed merchandise. The popularity behind this movie is prompting these brands to advertise Star Wars products first and foremost especially as we head into the Christmas gift-buying season.
It’s surprising that Disney needs to spend any money on advertising at all because their partners are doing all the work.
Chances are that you heard about the new Star Wars film at the cryptic release of the Darth Vader-themed poster. But any follow up advertising is most likely a result of a partner. Have a think now. What do you know about the new Star Wars film? Is any of it advertising that was created by Disney? Or has it all come through their partnerships with other brands looking to get every cent of value out of the brand partner fees?
When you have an entertainment property as strong as the Star Wars franchise, there is very little need to go it alone. Your partners will want to leverage the brand to gain new customers who are fans of the Star Wars franchise while also giving you all the promotion you need to get the word out in the marketplace.
Spend the extra money on the film and work with some influential sponsors to do your marketing for you!