Digital marketing today has many tools and strategies one can choose from to build a brand and get a product visibility. As digital innovation techniques become more clever and polished, one must ‘play the marketing game.’
An example would be the suspense and anticipation strategy. Techno-journalist Gianluca Fiorelli discussed this tactic in relation to the blockbuster movie, The Hobbit, and its clever marketing campaign.
Before the movie was released, there was already an interest that gained a large following; creating a relationship built between the audience and the movie. Pre-production is a very important phase before the release of a new product, especially a movie. Expectations are raised as the suspense builds. Once the movie is released, the audience decides whether these expectations are met or not.
A year before the movie was released, the Facebook page and movie blog were revamped and a Twitter and YouTube channel were created. The producers knew that The Lord of the Rings fandom was to be the marketing focus as they were the people who would ensure the movie’s success. Therefore, the fans were sated by constant updates on these channels.
The videos were the most important, giving fans an exclusive peek into what the movie would be like and what to expect; thereby creating a pre-narrative that would only be satisfied once the movie was shown. The videos were incredibly smart, as all behind-the-scenes clips are. They showed just enough about the movie, such as the characters, CGI effects and sets; but no real storylines.
The same tactic has been applied by the music industry. English rock band, Arctic Monkeys, first debuted a new song on their YouTube channel in February 2012 called R U Mine? Thereafter, they played many live shows, finally debuting their next new song, Do I Wanna Know?, at a California concert in May of this year. The single was played several times at other live shows until finally the band released it via their Facebook page and on iTunes a month later where it entered at number 11 on the UK chart. The band then confirmed the singles would be on their fifth album, AM, which is set to be released in September.
Fiorelli notes the similarity between the movie industry and the marketing world. One does not see a movie without a few images and pieces of information beforehand, the same goes for products or services. Using suspense tactics, such as the slow release of information to build anticipation and creating expectations, are useful methods to make sure your brand sticks in a customer’s mind.