Over the past several months, the people behind the marketing campaign for “Jurassic World” have been celebrating. They’ve probably been celebrating since June, when the movie opened, but they deserve it. Their efforts contributed to multiple record-breaking weekends and eventually a record-breaking year. Not only did the dinosaur epic become the highest grossing movie of the summer, then the year, it went on to become one of the highest grossing movies of all time, only sitting behind two James Cameron movies, “Avatar” and “Titanic.”
Sure, we could assume that people really wanted to see computer-generated dinosaurs. It has been about 14 years since the last “Jurassic Park” movie — the largely uninspiring “Jurassic Park III” — was in theaters, and 22 years since the original classic. But, we can’t deny the extensive and detailed marketing campaign that was created for the movie.
What can we learn from a campaign that did practically everything right?
A vast majority of movie ad campaigns stick with previews and trailers on the Internet, TV, and in front of other movies. The “Jurassic World” team did something a little different. They created an immersive experience. There were still the typical media ads and standard TV commercials, but there was also dedicated online content. The marketing team didn’t just create a website for the movie — they created a website for the theme park itself. They weren’t just selling a product, but an entire experience.
The website was packed with information, from facts about dinosaurs to “live broadcast” interactive webcams. Visitors to the website could discover exactly what was going on in the park. The marketing team took cues from real theme parks and attractions, using what worked for them to market the fictional park. There were even testimonials and reviews of the park’s various amenities. The experience was so engaging, you couldn’t help but read all the content and explore every feature (seriously, check it out).
On top of that, the site was regularly updated. Content never went stale and people had a reason to continue visiting the page. The website even updated when the movie was released in theaters, suggesting something had gone wrong. Since then, the website has featured a tongue-in-cheek “excuse our mess” message.
The movie’s marketing team also put together a series of marketing videos. There wasn’t a single dinosaur in these videos, no action or excitement. Instead, the videos were made to feel like genuine corporate marketing material, discussing innovation and highlighting the achievements of a fictional company and the people within it. Every new video went viral, gaining thousands or more views, even when the content had nothing explicitly to do with the movie.
Let people be a part of something bigger.
The marketing campaign’s level of detail and immersion helped to make a fictional world “become” real. It helped movie-goers feel like they were a part of something bigger. Imagine if you created an immersive marketing campaign for your clients, offering detail and dedication beyond what your competition has done. Imagine how your clients and prospects would feel and respond, and ultimately, reward you.
Part of connecting with your client base is rewarding them emotionally — fulfilling a need they may not realize they have. When you regularly engage clients, you fulfill that need. The “Jurassic World” marketing campaign fulfilled that need by providing users with an immersive website packed with content. You too can create an immersive marketing experience, and no, you don’t need and a team of Hollywood marketers and millions of dollars behind you to make it happen.
Your end result depends on what you’re willing to put in.
An immersive experience can start with a beautiful website working in harmony with your marketing material — online and off. You want a website that looks like it was made in 2015, not a late 90s Angelfire relic. That doesn’t mean it has to look super sleek and glossy, but that it’s built around the user experience. It should be visually appealing and every link should take users exactly where they expect. Unleash your creative side or work with someone who can help you achieve this.
And, you want to give people a reason to continually visit your website and to read your marketing content. Your brand or what defines your business should come alive. Content needs to be engaging and regularly updated. A blog post once a month doesn’t cut it. Sending out a mailer on a whim a couple of times per year makes for a forgettable experience. Update your blog at least once per week. Send out direct mail, such as a newsletter, every month. Consistent engagement with people who you want to do business with is key.
Give clients and prospects real content to explore: videos, audio, images, articles, stories, and so on. Tell the story of your business, your services, your products, and the people who make it all possible. Remember, people want to be fulfilled on an emotional level. When you give them something that is real, something that they can see and touch, you fulfill that need.
The marketing team behind “Jurassic World” wasn’t afraid to have fun and take a few risks.
They told a story and kept people coming back for more, and in the end their efforts were completely rewarded. While creating an immersive experience for your clients might not net you a billion dollars over a summer, they will respond and bring you one step closer to achieving that dream.