Marketing Planet

Is marketing the answer to all?

The movie "Last Holiday" is about to come out in Europe this beginning of 2006. Nothing special at first sight, wouldn’t it be that the main actors are not mainstream actors making it a movie that would have been impossible 10 years ago. What’s the role of marketing?

An "un-common" casting for a "common" movie

Last Holiday is a movie in which the main actors are Queen Latifah and LL Cool J. Not actors that much famous for making a blockbuster. The doesn’t matter, the movie will be positioned like a mainstream movie.

The target of the movie being all type of public is quite original for the fact that till now, mainstream movies were having in general a white casting. Not to be racist but, especially in the USA, Afro-American actors are not that much taking all the main roles. But maybe time has changed and so the "rules" and habits.

The story of Last Holiday is not especially about Afro-Americans, not is the subject. It is a story about a woman who learns she has only 3 more weeks to live and decides to take up all her savings and leave for holidays and enjoy life. As you see, nothing special, some nice ingredients for a beginning of a humorous movie.

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Last Holiday - the movie

Queen Latifah and LL Cool J are not that much known neither for these kind of roles. Both more known in the music world, they have had some experiences in the world of cinema but not in these kinds of movies.

What has made it possible to position this film as a mainstream?

Ten years ago, a movie like this would not have been imaginable. The public would have been shocked or the public would only have been Afro-Americans. Even those might not feel attracted to see the movie for it would not deal with topics of their interests.

A lot has changed though, or at least the producer and actors think so. In an interview, LL Cool J mentioned that it is all about marketing, less about the product. He compares the positioning of Last Holiday like the way rap music has been positioned:

Originally rap music was made by Afro-Americans and dealt with their topics and their environment. The music was nevertheless very quickly diffused throughout all types of population and adopted by them. It was the marketing around the music style that positioned it like music for all. Even is many rappers are Afro-Americans, there are quite some American and European rappers that have joined the "catwalk". How about Vanilla Ice - quite some years ago already - and today’s Eminem.

The actor states that with Last Holiday it can be the same: position the movie as a mainstream movie is possible as long as you use the marketing to this positioning: "it is not about the product, it is about the marketing."

Marketing, the solution to all our questions?

Whereas some voices say that marketing is in a dull era and needs to be reinvented, maybe other are right when saying that marketing can do it all. Probably, the right answer is in the middle - as often - but most of all depending whether you are willing to use marketing properly and to its real extension.

Though we from Marketing Planet will not state that marketing is the solution to all your questions - there are a lot of questions to be answered in the world - marketing can definitely do more than many think or will admit. Most of it’ success depends on how you use marketing. If you play it right, marketing can indeed do a lot for many products: it’s not what you do, it’s how you do it.. Haven’t we heard that before already?