Tale, not tail. Though this has a lot to do with tails. The tale of tails.
I saw Beverly Hills Chihuahua with my kids yesterday. I knew how good it was going to be *before* I went. How you ask?
The long, long tale.
Movies are tested, just like package goods, websites and tag lines etc. should be, *before* they are released to the public. Sometimes the feedback during testing doesn’t go too well and the product needs to be refined or redefined. Sometimes the product tests so poorly that it gets thrown out. And sometimes… sometimes a decision is made where marketing becomes the flip of the coin for success (or return of some investment).
In the case of movies and / or TV shows, where a lot of money is invested in production (and development) marketing often takes the front seat to create demand for a series or film release. Generally, the worst the product has tested the more promotion and the longer out the promotion begins. The long tale.
In the case of Beverly Hills Chihuahua, the ‘teasers’ began 4 months ago, with cute, dancing, pyramid leaping chihuahuas (a clip that doesn’t appear in the movie.)
The long, long tale was augmented by a series of TV and pre movie ads, in cinema displays and Disney publication ads that generated enough interest for my kids to want (more like demand!) to see the movie.
My thought is that word of mouth will kill this movie within 4 weeks, but by that time Disney will have recouped a large part of production and marketing costs.
The moral to this story (if anyone needs one), is that marketing isn’t the cure for the common product.
A product (in this case a movie) needs to have an essence of remarkable to generate positive word of mouth, longevity and profitability.
In the case of a website, traditional marketing campaign, or online campaign, having a unique and valuable product is key to both short *and* long term success.
Forget the long, long tale… a compelling story supporting a differentiated and focused product is (mostly) all you need.
< tail wagging >