Whether a company can strategically take advantage of its strengths can mean the difference between a successful public relations campaign and one that falls flat.
Disney’s latest public relations campaign/marketing strategy was a work of genius in this regard. In less than two months, the seventh movie in the Star Wars franchise, The Force Awakens, will debut. Due to the incredibly high expectations of its fan base, the anticipation surrounding the release of this movie is immense.
The Walt Disney Co. owns the rights to the Star Wars franchise, as well as owning sports channel ESPN. Disney was able to leverage both to their advantage. They chose to air the first look at the theatrical trailer for The Force Awakens during halftime of Monday Night Football on Oct 19.
In addition to cost savings by airing the 2:35-minute trailer free on a network they own, Disney was able to bring two diverse audiences together with no obvious overlap — Star Wars and NFL fans.
According to the Los Angeles Times, viewership surged by more than three million during the 15-minute halftime when the trailer aired.
It was a brilliant marketing and public relations move by Disney and interesting to see if other companies attempt to leverage their strengths in a similar fashion in the future.