I took one peek at the interactive map of Isla Nublar and lost myself in Jurassic World. The map of the island, home to the dinosaur theme park, is part of an imaginative and immersive website created to draw us in — and lose ourselves — in summer’s biggest blockbuster so far.
Of course, the island, the map and quite of bit of everything else on Jurassic World’s website was completely fictitious. The movie ticket sales, dinosaur research page and merchandising site, however, were definitely real. Throw in movie trailers, television ads and a ubiquitous social media presence, and it’s easy to see that Universal Pictures went all in with an “atmospheric” marketing effort that helped them set a new U.S. opening weekend record with $208.8 million in sales.
In today's marketing environment, studios need to be atmospheric and understand their viewers. There was one moment in the first Jurassic Park movie in which you could see the T-Rex in the mirror visibly catching up to a Jeep Wrangler and Jeff Goldblum screaming, "Must go faster!" However, the message on the mirror said, "Objects in Mirror Are Closer Than They Appear." As marketers we tend to think we have a good view of our customers, but like that Jeep mirror, our views can be skewed.
So, there are several lessons from Jurassic World's marketing approach that every entertainment marketer should pay attention to so we don’t misread our customers.
Atmospheric marketing: Promoting a movie used to be relatively simple: make a trailer, put up some billboards and wait for word of mouth to take over. Jurassic World’s monster marketing campaign operated on an entirely different level to excite consumers’ senses in a wide variety of ways. Anyone who watched TV or used the Internet since last fall couldn’t have missed seeing a trailer, an article, a Facebook post, a meme, a tweet, or a photo on Instagram. And let’s not forget those magazine hits in Entertainment Weekly and GQ. For months, promos were everywhere, tugging at consumers' emotions through atmospheric marketing — an omnipresent approach that grabs consumers and doesn’t let them go. This is the new norm for marketing summer blockbusters.
Omni-channel personalization: Chances are that fans will have lapped up Jurassic World tweets on their phones, watched promotional videos on tablets and researched the traits of the Pachycephalosaurus on laptop computers. It’s typical behavior in an era in which we all use multiple devices at various times and in myriad ways. Marketers are starting to understand the value and power of building universal profiles of their customers. The right strategy and best technology enables leading edge marketers to stitch together a 360-degree view of what their customers are doing online, regardless of which device they use. Concurrently, its essential to recognize customers and treat them accordingly based on their specific characteristics. Brands that don't adopt this approach won't be able to create experiences that delight and are essentially marketing with one hand tied behind their back.
Online and Off: The atmospheric marketing extended beyond the digital realm to real life interactions when the movie premier featured a re-created Jurassic World entrance at the Hollywood and Highland complex. We all live in a digitally enabled world, but we are still four-dimensional people and combining customers’ digital habits with their real-world behavior while being able to engage in real-time conversations has never been more critical. Studios, retailers and consumer brands that understand their customers and react to engagements in real-time can come up with more creative and effective ways to market to them online, or when they show up in person at a theater, store or an event.
In an always-on, anywhere world where movie goers are seeking immersive experiences and ways to connect to world's outside their own, studios and marketers have a significant opportunity to leverage the 360-degree information they have about viewers to deliver on that expectation.