How Rio brought my sister transmedial happiness

by Nawaz Kazmi on June 27, 2011in the categories Activation, ConversationsNo Comments

I took my sister Fiza (7) to the movies last week. Actually, she dragged me to it. A couple of weeks ago, she started asking me if I could take her to Rio, a movie by the makers of Ice Age. The whole experience, since she first got introduced to the movie, made her happy, even excited. Marketing had a great share in this. Here’s how they did it.

The friends
At the end of April, kids in Fiza’s school (2nd grade) started talking about visiting the cinema to see Rio (word-of-mouth). They all loved it (social proof) and told the other kids about the 3D-glasses they wore and took with them (reciprocity). They also wanted to tell the storyline, but surprisingly, they kept quiet (as the teacher told them not to ruin the movie for other kids that were about to see the movie too). It seems that Rio was something cool.

The media
As Fiza went home, she switched on the TV and saw a commercial of the movie. Fiza remembered what her friends told her and got excited. She started searching on YouTube (a thing that she is more than familiar with as a 7-year old digital native — in fact she also told me about the new song of Shakira last week) and saw the trailer again (brand recall). Next, she was listening to the songs of Rio and repeated that a couple of times during the following weeks. Fiza also managed to find the website and played some games, learned about the story, and the characters.

The collabo
Then there was the in-store experience. Chiquita wants to boost sales and found that targeting families with young children was the right thing to do. So they introduced a special kid’s bag of medium sized bananas, containing a small gift to boost the fun factor. A bit like a Happy Meal, although Chiquita is a healthier choice. Their first branded presents (in collaboration with Rio) were Chiqui bands, some fun bracelets kids can wear, collect and share. That was exactly what Fiza did. Besides, she always laughs when she hears the name Chiquita (it sounds funny) and now they connected with her on another level of fun.

So I asked Fiza if she wanted to go to the movie and gave her 3 options:

  1. Rio
  2. Kung Fu Panda 2 — 3D (brand new)
  3. Any other movie (of course, suitable for her age)

The choice
Asking this was a bit stupid. Of course she chose Rio. How could she not, after all the influencers did their jobs? On our way to the cinema I asked myself the question: how was Fiza not going to like this movie? Due to the whole experience, I thought Rio had already made it before Fiza even saw it (consistency). Something must be terribly wrong to change this perception.

And so it was. Fiza loved it (and so did I). Even during the movie, marketing kept on bringing small kinds of happiness: I got punched a couple of times by my sis who wanted to tell me she recognized specific parts out of the commercials and the Internet (familiarity).

The textbook example
Yes, I know, the experience I had is typical for great (marketed) movies. And the marketing of Rio is not exceptional only because they took it to YouTube and stuff. But it does again show some valuable observations:

  1. Kids are humans too. They also share stuff worth sharing and listen to people worth listening to.
  2. Adults are just like children. They also pursuit to be happy. How can your marketing create all kinds of happiness?
  3. Creating multiple touch points (through transmedial communication) is often essential. Collaborating is key.
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