Sasha Blaney|Jun 17, 2015

Recently, all kinds of major events have occurred throughout the country that greatly impacted the pop culture world. No, it was not the Chicago Blackhawks’ or Golden State Warriors‘ historic championship wins, or LeBron James declaring himself the “best player in the world,” or even the Game of Thrones season finale that left its audience with more than one cliffhanger.

For our purposes, the most notable news was that the film “Jurassic World” took home $511.8 million dollars around the world, setting the record for biggest global opening of all time. And, arguably, most of the credit should go to the movie’s extensive marketing efforts.

The film’s tremendous success reminded us how important it is to go beyond simply advertising your product and focusing on the experience for each consumer, even if a franchise like “Jurassic Park” can lean on nostalgia. These days, brands must create marketing efforts that emotionally involve the consumer far in advance to truly succeed.

When the discussion began about re-booting the “Jurassic Park” franchise, the studio said they wanted it to be put in the same conversation as “The Avengers” and “Star Wars.” To accomplish that, they needed to cater to the old fan base and inspire a new generation at the same time.

The consumer-focused marketing plan unfolded in November 2014 when the first preview of “Jurassic World” aired and was soon followed by a fully functioning “Jurassic Park” website, an Animal Planet partnership and countless other brand product placements that had fans talking about the movie’s potential for months leading up to opening weekend.

This continuous wave of excitement for the film had us thinking back on some of our favorite marketing efforts that put the consumer first and kept them emotionally invested until the end. Here are a few examples of PR/marketing campaigns that used unique tactics that focused on telling a compelling story and making their consumers really care.

  • While we can’t exactly pinpoint when the movie industry started integrating unique marketing campaigns into their promotional tours, we can point out the first one that truly caught our attention: The Harvey Dent campaign for the 2008 film “The Dark Knight.” This included a mock political campaign that brought the character of Harvey Dent to life with a website and a rally van (the Dentmobile). While the campaign was created as a grassroots effort, it took off. With fans posting videos and photos across the social web, the results added up to 110+ rallies taking place in 34 cities across the U.S. The movie was able to connect with fans on a deeper level, thus making it a success prior to opening in theaters.
  • The tastiest marketing campaign that shook up the traditional home-baking world and brought new flavors to consumers occurred in 2011. Our client Duncan Hines noticed a “Pleasantville”-like sameness in the baking aisle, and we set out to reinvent frosting with the launch of 12 unique flavor mix-ins called Frosting Creations. The new product was introduced with a certain level of secrecy to heighten how special it was. Select media received James Bond-inspired “Top Secret” briefcases with the new flavors, and an elite group of social media influencers (dubbed “Very Important Bakers”) received product kits to test Frosting Creations and enter for a chance to win a Duncan Hines baking house party. As a result, the award winning marketing campaign was a success with consumers, making them drool for the new flavors long before the product hit shelves.
  • There’s power in the ever-popular concept of “paying it forward.” JetBlue put their own spin on it with their notable campaign that launched in 2014. “Fly It Forward” was a program in which JetBlue awarded one free airline ticket to several individuals that were involved in humanitarian efforts. As a reward, the recipient could then select another deserving individual to receive a free ticket, and so on. The stories of those first chosen can be seen on YouTube, where the video received 1.2 million views and continues to grow. With its focus on altruism, the campaign continued to resonate with consumers long after the launch date, allowing JetBlue to not only advertise their services but also inspire acts of kindness.

While “Jurassic Park” may have spent nearly $30 million dollars on TV commercials, we’d argue that it was the consumer-friendly marketing tactics that kept viewers emotionally invested for the film’s long term success. From to an InGen crate showing up in London, “Jurassic World” hit this one out of the park and joins our list of favorite marketing campaigns that integrates consumers.


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