After studying the Harry Potter marketing case, and in particular the way that they were kind of restrained in their marketing made me think of an opposite approach employed by another franchise, The Twilight series. Looking at the two franchises they have some similarities and dissimilarities. Both are based on a series of books, Harry Potter has 7 in the series whereas Twilight has 4, meaning both have a fairly long brand life potential. The target groups are a bit different, although Harry Potter is primarily aimed at children it is clear from our readings that the appeal is much broader whereas as Twilight is more clearly aimed at the teen demographic. Both series have themes of the super natural, e.g. wizards and werewolves.
Where they differ drastically though is in how they are marketed. The Twilight franchise clearly follows the usual Hollywood blitz tactics of trying to release the movies as soon as possible, hoping to capitalize on the current trend it is riding on. This is demonstrated by the fact that they fired the director from the first movie because she said she couldn’t meet the release date that the studio had set. So instead they found another director to film the sequel New Moon and for the rest in the series they have other directors lined up. This clearly differs from the already mentioned Harry Potter case were they took a more long term approach with its marketing, especially the movies, with the 2 latest ones being released with two years in-between.
The question I pose is: would the Twilight franchise have benefited if they engaged in a marketing campaign more akin to the Harry Potter model, i.e. showing more constraint? Or is Twilight just riding on the current vampire and werewolves trend and the franchise isn’t sustainable on its own to attract audiences?
I asked this question to the CEO of Warner Brothers Sweden and he said that he definitely would have done things differently if he was in charge of the marketing of the Twilight franchise. Do you agree?
Also it was announced today that the last movie in the Twilight series, Breaking Dawn, will be split into two movies just like with the last movie in the Harry Potter series ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows’. It looks like somebody at marketing is going to get a big bonus : )