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June 4, 2009

“Land of the Lost” Loses No Marketing Opportunity

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Funnyman Will Ferrell is good at getting attention. But the promotions for his upcoming summer blockbuster “Land of the Lost” make any previous attempts to draw eyeballs look like simple child’s play. The team tasked to promote the film has pulled out all the stops in their wild-romping, anything-goes campaign that knows no boundaries. I’m seeing mentions of “Land of the Lost” everywhere I go and in the most unexpected places. It’s gotten to the point that I’ll probably see the movie, ignoring the facts that the trailers make the it look mediocre and that I have no nostalgic connection to it whatsoever. In other words, I had no motivation to see the movie — until now.

There’s this special trait of the human condition where people can be convinced of something if they see or hear it enough times. Like some Pavlovian filmgoer, I’m making drool-worthy associations about the movie based on past conditioning. Every time I see mentions of “Land of the Lost”, I’m eating or playing or laughing so hard I can’t see straight. Not bad experiences to associate with a splashy summer movie. Let’s take a look at some of the multi-platform promotions “LOTL” is running and consider whether or not they’re effective.

In the Real World

Land of the Lost Pop Rocks

It appears that part of the strategy for “LOTL” marketing is to use a multi-pronged approach. The Web gets a lot of attention being the new kid on the block, but savvy advertisers know that an integrated approach to marketing increases the odds of reaching a wider audience and reinforcing brand recognition. As long as you target channels that fit your audience, reaching out to your consumers across many different mediums increases your chances of sparking interest and getting them to come to you.

Out in meat space, “LOTL” has formed a relationship with Subway and Pop Rocks. Each campaign is different. The Subway promotion is a contest where players can win cash, vacations, movie tickets and more by locating entry codes on Subway cups and receipts. This campaign targets adults who are willing to do the work to collect codes and enter the contest in order to win legitimately cool prizes at a time when belts are tightening. The Pop Rocks promotion is a simple image on the package, enticing children with the promise of heart-stopping excitement.

In Traditional Media

Another place people hang out these days is their cozy traditional media venues. Again, it’s unwise to discount traditional media because fun and accountable online media has hit the scene. Studies show that 67 percent of Internet users are motivated by offline marketing, and of those people, 39 percent convert. And yet, 45 percent of marketers lack online-offline integration in their strategy. By not sharing marketing efforts across traditional media channels like newspapers, television and radio, direct mail and billboards, advertisers are at a competitive disadvantage.

Man vs. Wild with Will Ferrell

“Land of the Lost” certainly has television commercials, but they took their TV marketing a step further by putting silver screen comedian Will Ferrell on the Discovery Channel’s “Man vs. Wild”. Watching Will stumble on the ice and stomach a frozen deer eyeball — I can’t remember the last time I laughed so hard. The words “Land of the Lost” were never uttered by Will or host Bear Grylls, but you can bet the wheels in my head started turning. If Will could bring me to tears during an impromptu romp in the wild, I thought, he could certainly accomplish it during a scripted, multi-million dollar movie.

On the Web

One of my favorite parts of the “LOTL” campaign is what they did on the Web. This is where we really see their marketing prowess — the most fickle and demanding channel yet. Everything online is an experiment because there’s no telling whether a tactic that worked once will work again. The standards of creativity are higher than ever and the ability to keep viewer attention is lower than ever. Rather than trying something that had never been done before, “LOTL” attached itself to proven successes: LOLcats and iTunes.

Best Rawr Contest with Land of the Lost

“Land of the Lost” has teamed up with ICanHasCheezburger.com for the Best Rawr Contest. Is anyone surprised that hundreds of pictures of cats agape have been submitted? The lolcat fan base is interactive, dedicated and passionate — just the kind of audience a marketer dreams of. On iTunes, there are two “LOTL” games available. Games are interactive and also encourage the player to empathize with the character, put themselves in their shoes. If games give people feelings of fulfillment, excitement and a sense of connection, then they would appear to be an ideal marketing tool.

Are there any other “Land of the Lost” promos you’ve seen? Be sure to share in the comments!





One response to ““Land of the Lost” Loses No Marketing Opportunity”

  1. Michael D writes:

    For the record, I was very scared of Sleestack as a kid. They didn’t move very quickly but they made a terrible hissing noise, which apparently was frightening to little kids like myself.

    I’m going to see the film for sure!



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