With last week’s release of The Winter Soldier, fans and moviegoers are still talking about how the adaptation paid off despite the political messages clearly injected throughout the film.
Marketer’s can learn a lot about how Marvel’s recent movie just flawlessly throws in the politics without the immediate backlash political messages usually entail. The themes were set to be a political thriller in that very sense. The film bore clear influences from recent events like Edward Snowden exposing the NSA’s recent actions. How can marketers do the same? Inject a message that would normally raise the guard of an audience?
Take for example the issue of targeted killing. In an interview with Mother Jones Joe Russo really drew on it as one of the film’s main topics:
“The question is where do you stop? If there are 100 people we can kill to make us safer, do we do it? What if we find out there’s 1,000? What if we find out there’s 10,000? What if it’s a million? At what point do you stop?”
The key here is relevance.
In the movie, it’s obvious that Project Insight is really just the NSA (only with bigger and badder tech). It simply personified every recent issue like the questionable drone strikes, pre-emptive strikes, civil liberties along with President Obama’s speech about targeted killing and packed it all into an action flick.
One of the primary goals of marketing is to find out what topics their target audience considers relevant. When it’s successful, it helps direct that audience along a line of thinking you wanted it to take without being too forceful. The message brought in the movie was about the boundaries of everyone’s freedom and rights. It painted the libertarian nightmare of a government willing to kill individuals so long as they were capable of a threat before they even took action. Such themes rang hard with everyone’s thoughts on the recent political fiascos (particularly online privacy).
You need to be just as loud when communicating marketing messages to your prospects.
And to top it off, throw in some Easter eggs (just as the film did, if you’ve got a sharp eye). When you think about the amount of references it’s got, you can even say the entire film doubles as a major (and successful) marketing stunt.
Companies like Marvel really show how great movies can really inspire great marketing strategies. So the next time you watch one, keep a look out on how you can apply its style of messaging for your own campaigns.