Harry Potter Magic vs. Twilight Magic

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 : )


About carlsbergx

Born in Sweden Strong interest in movies and video games
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2 Responses to Harry Potter Magic vs. Twilight Magic

  1. enckelli says:

    Interesting. I agree that by having a long-term approach they could expand the life cycle of the brand and make more money. However, this is also more risky. As you wrote about the current vampire hype, how much did that affect? And what is the next hype? Besides, who is actually starting the hype? Is it like we read about in the article by Rinallo and Golfetto, that the future trends are actually set by the producers? In that case, they would “own” the hypes and trends and could definitely expand the life cycle, even though it would be more risky.

  2. carlsberg says:

    Well, both Twilight and True Blood premiered in 2008, which means they began production before the vampire trend. So I would say that they are the catalysts for the trend. Soon after, the series ‘Vampire diaries’ followed, which subsequently has the biggest opening viewership for TV premiere series. But the question of how sustainable it is, I would say that it isn’t as sustainable as the Harry Potter franchise. My reasoning is that Harry Potter created a new universe so there is a stronger novelty value to it. Twilight and True Blood just really took a different approach to an established universe, so the novelty might not be as strong.
    Regarding what the next hype or trend would be, if I would have to throw my two cents in, I would say that ancient mythology is coming strong. Last week a movie called ‘Percy Jackson & Olympians’, which has the same director as the first two Harry Potter movies, premiered in the states. It wasn’t a smash hit but did fairly well, not Harry Potter numbers, and it was based on Greek Mythology. Also, the CEO of Warner talked about their upcoming movie ‘Clash Of The Titans’ which is a remake and it is also based on Greek mythology. There has been a talk of making the video game series ‘God Of War’ into a movie and it too is based on Greek Mythology. If the ‘Clash Of The Titans’ becomes a hit, well then the ‘God Of War’ movie will definitely get fast tracked since it has a huge fan base (one of the best selling games on the playstation 2). Following Greek mythology is Norse Mythology, with a movie based on Thor in development. When all of this hits it is going to create interests in all things related to ancient mythology. But then again, this is just a guess.

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