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Does Marketing Hype Often Leave You Disappointed?

It does me.

I’m a frequent visitor to Ain’t It Cool News, simple because TV and Movies are my primary source of entertainment. About this time last year a post for the 2004/2005 seasons new shows appeared and I took note of one show in particular called The Inside. Over the course of the year additional posts regarding the show were posted, all building hype. This is the best new show of the year! Produced by Tim Minear who was responsible for other great shows such as… yada, yada, yada.

I waited all year for this show and it FINALLY aired the other night. After a year of waiting and looking forward to this groundbreaking new show I was… well, disappointed.

I have the same issue with movies that are highly anticipated. I can’t wait to see them and then once released they simply don’t live up to the hype, or, I’m too busy analyzing every detail of the movie that I forget to enjoy it.

Am I the only one?

Pre-marketing hype can be a double edged sword and marketers must come to fully understand that if they don’t already. Going back to movies, many movies started with very little hype only to turn into hugely successful hits. The first Austin Powers movie comes to mind. This film made more money in video and DVD sales than it generated in the theater. It wasn’t marketing hype that lead to two highly successful sequels (though there was hype with those) but it was word of mouth that got people to watch AP, buy it, and want to see the sequels.

On the other hand, many things fail for lack of hype. Could the show Firefly continued for several more seasons had FOX spent a little more time hyping it? Then again, simple word of mouth is bring that short-lived show to the big screen in September.

In the mid 90’s the .com boom was built in nothing but hype and that came crashing down, busting companies and stock holders. Several years ago the movie Wild Wild West would have crashed hard had it not been for the marketing hype before it, but many people soon realized the hype was more interesting than the movie itself. On the other hand, hype can make even the most mediocre movies hugely successful, not just in the short term but in the long run as well, regardless of the quality (Episode I, anyone?).

Hype is a dangerous toy to play with. Used incorrectly, it can build you up only to take fall, leaving you, your product or your reputation in the trash heap. Used correctly, hype can vault you to the top of the must buy, see, read, visit, etc. list and keep you there. And if what you offer lives up to the hype, then everybody wins.

Stoney G deGeyter

Stoney deGeyter is the author of The Best Damn Web Marketing Checklist, Period!. He is the founder and CEO of Pole Position Marketing, a web presence optimization firm whose pit crew has been velocitizing websites since 1998. In his free time Stoney gets involved in community services and ministries with his “bride enjoy” and his children. Read Stoney’s full bio.

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