Last week the new Star Wars movie, The Force Awakens, released in cinemas all over the world. As a new entry to one of the most beloved franchises of all time, The Force Awakens developed Hype beyond belief.
What is Hype, you may ask. Hype is essentially the pinnacle of content marketing. It requires that the brand product highly precise and strategically significant content. Success factors should be considered in terms of 3 C’s namely Conversation, Communication and Coverage. Hype is similar to viral marketing, in other words it relies on the Internet, social media and the blogosphere to create P-2-P (peer-to-peer) connections, which ultimately generate content, interest and excitement.
Whilst a successful Hype campaign relies on a keen strategy, similar to viral, it’s not something that can be assumed. One analogy that is often used is to compare hype to a snowball rolling down a hill. You need to start in the right place and make sure to seed the campaign at the appropriate moments. In certain respects Hype is more predictable than a viral campaign, but at the same time it has similar success criteria.
Let’s take a look at some of the success factors that led to the hype surrounding The Force Awakens:
- The Star Wars franchise is one of the most beloved series of all time. It’s brand is so successful that is has been used to generate games, books, and a massive amount of fan-generated content a.k.a. The Expanded Universe.
- Disney bought control of the Star Wars brand in 2012 and immediately announced its plans to release Episode 7 in 2015, which subsequently led to a large number of debates regarding Disney’s ability to properly represent the brand.
- Disney released snippets of content over the past 3 years to keep The Force Awakens debate alive in forums and on social media. One example is the new lightsaber design – which represented a controversial change to the brand.
- Disney maintained some of the original high points of the original films such as Harrison Ford’s character Han Solo, one of the most beloved movie characters of all time. This means that even with the controversial debates, die-hard Star Wars fans could connect to the new episode in a meaningful way.
Overall the Hype surrounding the Force Awakens was unreal. A combination of success factors and strategically significant communications has led to a highly successful movie launch and feather in Disney’s cap. For more on content marketing and Hype stay tuned to Bangula!
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