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Brand World

Marques jurassiques

12/06/2015 - par Olivier Mongeau

Mad Max et Jurassic World: avec l'été reviennent les blockbusters et autres mégafranchises du cinéma mondialisé. Il est bien entendu beaucoup question de marketing dans ces recettes-là mais pour Mark Tungate, point trop n'en faut: «les blockbusters sont des marques résilientes - et comme les vieux amis, ils inspirent l'affection».

There’s an already-famous scene in Jurassic World in which an amphibious dinosaur swallows a great white shark whole. And it doesn’t seem to have escaped anyone’s notice that the scene is an ironic reference to the film’s producer, Steven Spielberg, who of course directed Jaws. The scene is also deemed to be a comment on blockbusters in general. Look how big we've become! We can eat Jaws for breakfast!

 

Jaws, released in 1975, is generally regarded by film historians as the first summer “blockbuster”. You probably get the term’s etymology: a film is so popular that the line of people queuing for tickets stretches around the block of buildings where the cinema is located. The floundering follow-up to Spielberg’s masterpiece also launched the practice of identifying sequels by numbers rather than titles: Jaws 2, Superman 2, Rocky 2 and so on. It was an acknowledgement by Hollywood that these were not just films – they were products, money-making machines. They were also, of course, brands.

 

Now the Jurassic brand is back – and waging war for ticket sales against another elderly brand, Mad Max. Blockbuster queues are generated by advance marketing, and the teaser trailer for Jurassic World appeared online months ago. But the Jurassic marketing team also did a couple of clever stunts, like placing a dinosaur transportation container in the middle of London’s Waterloo Station.

 

Here the brand’s familiarity kicked in: fans of the series immediately recognised the container. Later, three raptors – the series’ most iconic creatures – emerged to pose for social media snaps. They were a bit static, but they looked the part. This followed earlier reports of a dead T-Rex being transported through London streets on the back of a truck (which actually turned out to have been organised by National Geographic Channel for its own Dinosaur Autopsy show).

 

But I’m not sure the movie really needed stunts to find an audience. Blockbuster brands are resilient – and like old friends, they inspire affection. You’ve no doubt already seen the trailer for the biggest of them all, shortly to make a return to our screens: Star Wars.

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