Technology Advances or Social Media Meltdown

Technology has revived a lot of creative juices in the marketing and promotion industry. The means of promotion sound bites getting to “shoppers from brands” has been delivered in the “Geography of Nowhere”.

Nowhere, also meaning the Now and Here. Social media , Gaming , Online shopping and education have become a lifestyle .

Real time touches to shoppers from brands is the new way of normal for marketing via technology. Voice activation will continue to grow on our machines and in the marketplace.

I have no problem with it and it is part of where this generation x group is taking us path forward. My Boomer generation has no problem with these changes we will just embrace it, hug it, and more importantly make it work for us.

This is the starting point for this piece; let’s not forget the time spent embracing and hugging. Seriously if you want to have sustainability with your shopper you must spend some quality time with them also. You must at least create a place they can come and convene with you thats more that a text or a pop up.

A website is not the full answer, just in case you tech heads thought that space  was sufficient.

We live in a marketing world where people appear to be living more in a virtual world than a real world. I am okay with dreaming and fantasizing about the future, but we owe it to our shoppers to educate them to see balance in life. Balance leads to comfort .

Hopefully our brand or retail locations are the places they find that balance.

So while we chat it up on facebook, trash it up on TikTok  /instagram/X or shop it up on-line from a text we got at work lets think of ways we can get people to enjoy our brands in the world they live in.

Case in point is did you know that museums, art galleries, parks are still one of the most visited places in our country in a non pandemic world . Marketing in educational venues should be a strong investment in getting families to experience our culture. Having your brand preserve history while leading the path where we are going is brand responsibility.

I challenge you to add the great outdoors to your marketing mix. Try adding a seasonal strategy to your plan to encourage your brand and shopper to bundle up and check out what’s happening away from the technology world. To capture an old marketing quip “Try it you’ll like it”.

We are all aware of the tragedies of Social Media and some of us ignore these, by saying that will never happen to me or my brand. It certainly won’t if you are encouraging your fans to take a break with your brand and step outside in our world and smell the “coffee, flowers, or even Haaseline Entertainment”

3D – What’s the Dimension will it be in 2024 ?

Do you have a small brand and a small budget ?? There is plenty to be had if you will allow your brand to move into a new dimension of winning vs we aren’t a big brand. Stay with me till the end !!

What a 3D year it was back in 2011 with well over 20 3D films. Now where’s the beef ?? Have you seen a 3D movie since?? Gimmicks are part of quick in and out way to market but you have to be on the front end to be effective.

IMAX appears to be the only high end format that continues to grow and allow raised ticket price experience.

I’m not knocking our tech update game just pointing out it nothing new. I loved the way masters like Hitchcock used 3D in the old days with Dial M with Murder and Cameron has mastered the same in 2009 with Avatar. Heck I even used 3D with an X-Men 2 scavenger hunt at Wal-Mart. 3D Branded glasses with 3D packaging and a 3D X-Men 2 branded poster give-away in early 2000’s.

 Wayne Gretsky claimed his excellence at Hockey was that he always knew where the puck was going to be vs. chasing it. So move your cheese constantly, be alert, stay engaged and consider all things for your marketing mix.

I used to fret at the changes from 8 tracks to cassette, VHS to Beta, VHS to DVD to Blu-Ray, on-line from brick n mortar, and hard-line to streamline. Keep all formats on your radar. A fully integrated program playing in all dimensions is the way for your brand to touch the universe, and not just a landscape.

So formats come a go , but they still have ways of rebounding !! LP’S now out sell CD’s?? VHS has had a rebound for nostalgia and Stranger things used the old VHS Box to package socks at Universal Studio’s Halloween Horror Nights!!

One new economical promotion opportunity is franchise anniversaries. In 2024 many properties are celebrating anniversaries .

These are all great promotional opportunities and cost effective.

Haaseline Entertainment has opportunities for smaller brand to stand tall like the big brands. We specialize to making budgets stretch , improve incremental merchandising and co-market with retailers to grow customer relationships . Let us turn your past misses due to budgets into a nostalgic winner with a vision to grow !!

Studio Tentpoles vs Smaller Properties

It always amazes me when you hear the pitch on big tent pole properties. These are usually films that have at least a budget of 100-200M and are the properties studios are hanging their year on for big participation in the marketplace with brands and product. They come promised with tons of potential retail, and licensed brand support and you feel that you feel like you just bought your first package of shake and bake. This promotional meal looks easy, fast, and tastes…okay…but the cost to play in this feast is high for the perceived results.

The alternative is a property with limited budget support, little retail support or promotional/licensed product, and unless you are a paradigm pioneer partnering with a smaller property could be a Texas shootout.

So the decision sounds easy and most big companies do choose the easy comfortable way out. For comparison lets root for the underdog for a bit. Small films or properties have a less clutter advantage. If you’re a small brand you can play king of the hill. If handled properly, with a portfolio of products, you can create your own merchandising event with your normal retail support. A truly outstanding opportunity of showcasing and billboarding your shelf set for the promotion. Usually there is little or no license fee and the people behind the small brand are there to lend you “over the top”support to make the partnership work.

Now I don’t want to the talk behind the tent poles back, but the tendency is to let the property do the talking. If the retail community appears to be behind it, it does look inviting to participate and spend the bucks. Big retail and brand participation always has been inviting!!

The lesson really to be learned is it’s your job to make it or break it. You have to protect your brand and control what you can control. You must be responsible to stay on top of the pile that is uncontrollable.

If you think any of the 2 decisions is not going to take strong hands behind the wheel, you better stay off this road. You may think you have found the golden wrapper of a property and you will surely be mistaken. I have seen huge tent poles with lots of glitter on paper that look dynamic, however when the retail execution reality show sets in, fingers start a pointing.

The last thing you want is to put your customer or brand in a promoton where they can drop the ball and have that finger pointing at them or you.

The best advice is to develop a promotional matrix on how you think each facet of your organization will embrace either opportunity, tentpole or smaller property. Benchmark retail, sales, marketing, buyers, executives, internal and external factors before making your decision.

Set out clear objectives for your executional expectations and see if you and your brand can be accountable to the gold standard. If your answer is never, then I suggest giving either option a try , because it’s clear you or your company is a constant “Dr No” !!!

Holidays are the Best Time of the Year

As we get ready for a summer of biggest slate of tent pole offerings in some time, we also get an avalanche of media hyping the summer. Magazines, entertainment shows and websites are in full gear, advertising every offering that Hollywood has to offer.

The key to this Summer Marketing is the montage of fun under a summer umbrella. Its Fun under the Sun!!!

So what is bigger “Hollywood” or “Summer”? Granted retailers sell tons of non licensed products that are dedicated to the summer from apparel, food, grills, garden, to fans and suntan lotion. The media has worked a deal where all the summer movies are marketed towards a successful summer of entertainment.

So why don’t Retailers and Marketers do the same? Why not focus to treat summer entertainment as a category program and ask those who want to participate to do just that: Have fun in the sun and play in the Summer Entertainment sandbox.

The Media online and Print has the entire tent pole movies “Summer Blockbusters” collaged together to sell the summer. So instead of having 1 movie dominate your stores have Summer Blockbusters POS  grab a Product, Retail and Entertaining Theme that drives excitement for the bigger Summer Category. Everybody wins and Hollywood starts to truly become a total store category captain (not just the categories they play in). If the MediaMagazine category can pull this off why can’t retail do the same?

July is Comic Con Month and Fandom is perfect for retailers to get that Con feeling of exclusives being fed to fans through out the store. We did superhero’s in the produce aisle for years. Snack foods , Deli, and other departments can compliment this Summer Blockbuster promotion.

This strategy also allows ROI benefits with 1 POS kit that covers 3 months of merchandising. Merchandising can change as needed but the overall look hitchhikes on the millions of dollars spent to hype these movies.  It invites more players in all brands to be involved with a Blockbuster Summer Merchandising event. It sells a lot more product at Retail with the real hero of the season….Summer, Family , & Food !!!

Super Hero’s or Saturated Fat

Superhero Movies have been running their course over several decades with many hits, and some misses. Regardless of the outcome of any of these, the heightened awareness attached to these movies is immense. Marvel, DC, & Valiant Entertainment will have have the bulk of the offerings, but the $ attached to making these movies is enormous and can’t be overlooked in your marketing plans.

Here’s quick education for those in the fog. Warner Brothers has the rights to DC Comics  which will have The Batman & The Flash 2022 ,and the #1 hit 2018 Aquaman, Suicide Squad (Justice League ) and  The Flash, Supergirl and Lois & Clark on CW..

Disney owns Marvel, but is watching closely as contracts expire on certain Marvel equities with other major studios. Within that contract Universal has had Hulk, and has a Marvel Island in their theme parks. Marvel has Avengers, Thor, Captain America, Guardians of the Galaxy, Antman and Dr Strange. Disney bought Fox which has given us X-Men Franchise, Deadpool & Fantastic 4 , Daredevil, , Sony gives us Spiderman Homecoming series with newest killing the box office with 1 B in 10 days, MIB  & Venom 2 2021 , Morbius 2022.

Valiant Entertainment’s Bloodshot starring Vin Diesel ,Harbinger, Faith have 6 movies from Sony with more from Paramount.

Hopefully you get my point, that we just can’t ignore them and that the overloaded marketplace can appear to have some saturated fat.

The other reason to love them is that they (in most cases) are “all family” movies which broadens your offerings to your shoppers. All in all these films have sold Billions of $ in merchandise and still rule the buzz meters in social media.

Here’s the scoop most of them are tentpole pictures for their respective studio’s and tend to have plenty of promotional partners.  When researching an opportunity in the Superhero genre, pay specific attention to whom the other licensee’s are, when the movie is released in the calendar are there other events adjacent to the film’s release, and are their physical attributes the characters have that play into your brands ( i.e. color, size, letters etc. )

I have seen very few players in promotion play in all the arena’s Valiant , Marvel & DC have for their properties. I also know from experience that they tend to be a bit greedy as you move from licensed equities within their properties. I am hoping to see a player use all these opportunities to drive an extensive reach to existing and new shoppers. A typical property can have promotional opportunities tied to a movie, TV, print (comics), numerous other new category tie-ins (for your brands) such as theme parks, character /actor appearances etc.

Take a look at the calendar, and think big. Get your organization to broaden the promotional opportunity offered by these superheros and start realizing super results. Don’t forget you and your brand are quite the hero’s also!!

For more information on how to morph your brand in a supersize promotion and become a superhero in your company contact Haaseline Entertainment. Let us help you  have a fit brand with no saturated fat , but all the trimmings.