From the early buzz, it sounds like we’re about to have a fabulous holiday blockbuster HORSE movie drop into our collective laps. WAR HORSE is coming, and horses are going to be on the minds of mainstream America AND in the mainstream media for weeks to come (if not longer). Have you considered how to leverage this potential bonanza of equine-oriented media attention?
WAR HORSE releases to a widespread audience on Christmas Day. Heavy hitter Steven Spielberg is the film’s director, which means deep marketing pockets will result in a huge media campaign and lots of attention for the movie. The trailer came out on October 5th, and even the Wall Street Journal reported on the trailer release; you can view it here if you haven’t caught it yet on TV.
The Horsey Set Net blogger Rhonda Lane has done a bang-up job of reporting on the economic realities of the entertainment world, and why it’s important that the equine community support WAR HORSE by attending early and often. If this movie makes big bucks, it’s more likely to pave the way for even more horse movies to come. But that’s Hollywood; what about the day-to-day horsebiz?
It’s often challenging to get the attention of mainstream markets and help them realize that equine activities are both accessible and enjoyable. Doing so takes time and dedication on the part of the horsebiz, since it usually requires multiple ‘touches’ or impressions to inspire someone to take action.
But WAR HORSE the movie is building upon other equine-oriented mainstream entertainment of the past several years such as the SECRETARIAT and BUCK movies, WAR HORSE on Broadway, an equine character (Chestnut) on the CBS sitcom 2 Broke Girls, and Carson Kressley riding his Saddlebreds with Nate on The Nate Berkus Show in support of a national riding campaign, among others.
One stable owner recently commented that while she thought the Carson Kressley appearance might result in calls (she’s got mostly Saddlebreds), the results were pretty lackluster. I don’t know what outreach that one stable did to leverage the Kressley television appearance, however in today’s marketplace, it’s unrealistic to expect crowds of new customers without putting forth effort to attract them in.
Some suggestions for leveraging the WAR HORSE buzz include:
- Beef up your search engine keywords so you can be found on the Internet, and post WAR HORSE links at your site. Or, write up your own movie review after you’ve seen the film.
- Support and spread the word on other WAR HORSE promotions via your social media; you can pass along information about things like Breyer’s just-announced holiday WAR HORSE giveaway or the @WARHORSENEWS account on Twitter.
- Do you have horses with dramatic histories? Send out a press release, or contact your local media about an article or a radio or TV appearance.
- Have special tie-in events or activities at your own horsebiz, and get started promoting them now.
The point is, the media will want to feature horsey topics for the first few weeks after Christmas, since doing so boosts their own results. If you can provide them something horsey that their audience is interested in, you can boost your own chances of getting exposure.
Be sure that you can provide a ‘wow’ experience to keep people coming back…remember that you never get a second chance to make a first impression. And be sure to make time to go see WAR HORSE yourself!
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