How to do Creative Promotional Campaigns Inspired by TV Shows and Films

By Vincent G. Spivey

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Drawing the attention of customers and leaving a positive and lasting impression on them is not an easy feat. It takes strategic planning and precise implementation of campaigns to successfully promote a business, which we can gauge using metrics like return on investment. You can do this by yourself or through the help of marketing agencies.  

The entertainment industry is one among the many that knows how to use marketing strategies successfully. Shows like Stranger Things and Game of Thrones as well as the box office hit franchises like the ones that comprise the Marvelverse, or those that gave life to a galaxy far far away are parts of this enormous industry. These shows and films move beyond traditional marketing approaches to build up fans and to call on those who might not have joined the dark side yet. People working in the marketing and promotional industry could learn some things from the awe-inspiring and creative minds behind these franchises.

If you are one who works to promote or market a particular brand or two maybe, then consider the following creative tips when designing your next promotional campaign.


Try doing a thematic campaign

It is safe and quite obvious to say that the films and TV shows mentioned earlier will stick to their specific themes when carrying out promotional campaigns. What we can take away from this is, as a promoter, you can either choose to come up with your brand’s themed campaign, or you can get inspiration from these shows and films, and maybe do a multiverse celebration of pop culture.


Stranger Things

One of the most obvious takeaways we can get from this hit Netflix series is the ‘80s reference. And so a throwback could work well for your campaign. You can choose to give away retro products, apparels, or anything that evokes a sense of nostalgia from your customers or other potential consumers. You may also use limited edition items for your throwback campaign, and you may even distribute objects from the past that today’s young generation might not recognize anymore.

With the phenomenal success of the show, people will likely appreciate all the throwback you are doing. And they might just thank you for taking them down memory lane like what the show did.

Examples of throwback promo items are a mini oscillating fan, flower power highlighters, tote bags with fun retro patterns, neon key tags, and slap wristbands. The merchandise each represent a decade from the ‘50s all the way to the ‘90s. And they’re fantastic enough that people will pay more attention to what the items are promoting, namely your business.


Game of Thrones

This award-winning show provides plenty of ideas for you to draw inspiration from for your advertising plans. You may design promotional pins inspired by the coin of Braavos to give away to the rightful customers and clients. There are also people who found the famous “winter is coming” words useful to introduce and get people hyped about their businesses. Many have used phrases like “insert-business-name-or-product is coming” on their promotional products, and these have definitely built customers up.

Here’s a word of advice, though. We designers understand the significance of creating an authentic and original design. We don’t like it when other people rip off and profit from our outputs without our consent. Hence, there is a fine line between creatively promoting your business with inspiration from pop culture and getting involved in copyright infringement issues.

And so, we don’t really have to use content from the shows outright. If Game of Thrones has taught us anything - aside from the most basic, since-season-one lesson that when we play the game, we either win or die - that is the fact that, just like the show, a good promo item should speak for itself. Hence, if your would-be customers know nothing, then there isn’t any need to worry. It’s your job to fill them up with the right information anyway. The fans helped create the hype over the show, and this is something we’d want to emulate.

In fact, the buzz around the show is so loud that shaming people who post spoilers have become a form of retribution. Yes, we can hear Septa Unella sweetly ringing that bell. To build up customers, using a great product or service should suffice, and you can expect a word of mouth marketing to happen. Just give out promotional merchandise or samples of your products to little birds or prospective buyers, and if they love your items, then they’d do the advertising themselves.


The Force is Strong on Social Media

All shows and films we mentioned at the beginning of the article utilized the ever stronger social media platform. A part of their marketing tactics is posting and tweeting memes with snippets of their characters as if they’re communicating with hundreds of thousands of fans who just can’t get enough of the shows. And similar to the power interacting fans have, Star Wars continues to gain popularity up to this day with fan accounts of characters like none other than Darth Vader himself counting down on Twitter for the next installment. Really, who can’t wait for Episode VIII?

And so, you get the idea. Distribute those awesome promo items; take pictures and post them online for your followers to see. Use the force to promote your business!


Stark Creativity is the Key

Another important element for you to consider when planning your promotions is to check if your promo items are something that potential clients can use, or even better, can interact with upon acquiring the merchandise. Examples of creative and interactive promo items given away previously are magic eight balls, banner pens, yoga straws, and toilet notebook papers. And if you want to bring pop culture to the table, try taking a leaf out of the Marvelverse book. “Cap-cakes” could work. With Cap and his shiny shield on top, cakes that represent him must taste good after all. And how can we forget Tony Stark? You know that genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist? Well, our promo products should be like him. Big items in an impressive print packaging. Take the wrap off, and what will our clients get? One great promo item designed to catch the eye of your customer.

All these shows and films know their business alright, and this is why their promotional campaigns are on point. So, it’s a good idea to draw inspiration from them. At the end of the day, our goal is really about making the most out of what we are giving away. We can leave impressions on consumers with whatever item we choose. But a well-thought of and a brilliantly designed promotional campaign can generate a positive and lasting impact. When you use the right material and the right message for your business, your promo items will surely serve their goals, and chances are, people will remember your brand and products.

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