Monday Morning Quick Tip – Hold Your Horsebiz, WAR HORSE Is Coming!

All images courtesy

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.

All images courtesy

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.

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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.
  • 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!


Are you planning to leverage the WAR HORSE buzz? Leave a Comment using the link in the grey box below, or quickly rank this article from 1 to 5 stars using the new Rate This tool right under the title. If you want to pass it along to your Facebook or Twitter communities, use the Share button for easy sharing.

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Filed under Equine Industry Marketing, Monday Morning Quick Tip, Uncategorized

8 responses to “Monday Morning Quick Tip – Hold Your Horsebiz, WAR HORSE Is Coming!

  1. I have read the book as well as my daughters. Steven Speilberg lookslike he did an amazing job once again. But I really cannot wait to see the stage version which should be in Chicago by 2012 or 2013.

    • Sandy, thanks for your comment! I’ve held off on the book, but agree on can’t wait for stage AND screen versions. I love many of Spielberg’s films, so I’m very curious to see what he’s done with the story. LK

  2. What a great idea to recommend horse businesses promote their own “War Horse” tie-ins – even if they “just” get a group of their current customers to attend the movie together and then go out afterward to discuss what they just saw.

    Not only do we have the critically acclaimed movie, but the children’s book and a touring company for the play in 2012. The Kentucky Horse Park Literacy Project just announced it will distribute the “War Horse” book. Here’s a link to check it out.

    Just a heads-up, Fran Jurga’s War Horse News blog is now online She’s got some interesting articles in the works.

    Anyhoo, I believe Joey will become another beloved cultural icon like Black Beauty and The Black Stallion.

    And thanks for the shoutout and link, Lisa.

    • You are very welcome for the link, I was happy to see the argument made! This movie is a fabulous opportunity for horse businesses to do local promotion, education, and outreach to mainstream audiences since horses will be in the zeitgeist because of it. I only hope they’ll take advantage of that.

      Love the idea of a group outing, and a pair of WAR HORSE tickets can be a great client gift, stocking stuffer, or raffle prize. Thanks, Rhonda, for the extra resources and I’m looking forward to more great WAR HORSE articles from you, too! LK

  3. can’t wait to see “Warhorse”
    I got tickets for Christmas present!

    • Congrats, Denise! I received a copy of the book for Xmas…will wait to read it until after I’ve seen the movie. Thanks! LK

      • Each telling of the story of Joey – the play, the movie and the book – has its own charms and differences. Enjoy!

      • Hi Rhonda, Merry Christmas to you, and great point – they’ve all got merits! I’ve found for myself that the ‘movie in my head’ when I read a book can cause me to be disappointed in an actual film made from a book, so since I haven’t yet read WAR HORSE I thought I’d hold off. Movie planned for later this week, to support this equestrian blockbuster and get into the first week of box office returns as per your great blog article! LK

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