Muppets Marketing: It’s Time to Light the Lights

Editor: Please help me welcome back our latest guest author Amanda Correia.

Ladies, Gentlemen, and Muppet-kind,

In less than four short months, one of the most highly anticipated and best-marketed films of the year will finally hit theaters. That’s right, folks, we’re talking The Muppets, the brilliance and magic of Jim Henson’s vision reborn with the help of some very creative minds. The film has an impressive list of celebrities who will make an appearance, including co-stars Jason Segel and Amy Adams, Jack Black, Emily Blunt, Neil Patrick Harris, Kathy Griffin, Ben Stiller, Mila Kunis, Lady Gaga, and the list goes on. These celebs are faced with the challenge of bringing the classic Muppets, some of the most distinct characters of the century, to life in a way that is true to their original identities but also relevant in today’s society. Basically, they have to bring “it”. And solely based on the marketing that has been released thus far, I personally see no indication of anything less than the best.

It all started with a poster and a “Kermit Cam”, strategically placed on the Internet in early May, officially launching their 6-month campaign. This teaser poster can only be described in one word: epic. Only a few days prior, Kermit the Frog showed up at the Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides premiere (for what would Disney be without some good ol’ cross-promotions?), and played black carpet correspondent for the night. This video is hilarious and brilliant. You must watch it for yourself.

Then came the faux-trailers. The thing I like most about this campaign is how spunky and nontraditional it is: they came out with three teaser trailers, two of which were imitations of highly anticipated movies that had recently hit theaters, before they came out with the real one! The first is called “Green With Envy,” and is set up like a Rom-Com trailer with a perfectly placed, unexpected ending. Next is the “Fuzzy Pack” trailer, which imitates The Hangover II. How they ever thought to make that connection is beyond me, but somehow it works. Again, humorous and very clever. The last teaser trailer is called “Being Green,” and plays off of Green Lantern and the superhero genre. I like this one in particular because it includes a few extra scenes from the movie that hadn’t been seen in any of the other trailers. Regardless, I highly you recommend watch all of them because they are definitely worthwhile.

After creating a good amount of hype with these videos via social media, it was time for an original, full-length trailer. For the first time, we get to see the newest Muppet, Walter (the one electrocuted by the fence), who is the world’s biggest Muppet fan and apparently helps reunite the cast of the Muppet Show. We also start to get a real sense of what the movie is about, while simultaneously being reminded of some classic Muppet moments that bring back some nice feelings of nostalgia.

Lastly (for now), about a week ago, an official international movie poster was released. Isn’t it just so colorful? I hope that they also make use of it in America, but I also wouldn’t mind having one last poster to admire.

In all, I love this campaign. It captures the personality and innocence of the Muppets, while successfully creating a brand new and interesting story line. While younger audiences are enamored with stars like Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez, generations raised between the 60’s and 90’s understand the true magic of Jim Henson’s work. Kermit, Miss Piggy, and their iconic friends have been a source of inspiration and laughter around the globe for decades, and I sincerely hope that with this movie, they will continue to do so in a more prevalent manner. If I were to leave anyone up to that challenge, it would be Disney, and so far, they have not let me down. Now, all there is to do is sit and wait, either for the movie or more marketing. Either way, I am certain that whatever Disney pulls out of its hat for the rest of this journey will be impeccable, and will bring the Muppets the modern-day glory they so deserve.

Amanda (@amandajcorreia) is a Boston-based marketing student with an immense passion for film, travel, blogging, and pretending she’s a Disney princess (http://amandajcorreia.wordpress.com/).
Previously: 3-D Movie Marketing at Disney.

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12 Responses to Muppets Marketing: It’s Time to Light the Lights

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  3. Bob says:

    I don’t know. Walter strikes me as a very GENERIC Muppet as opposed to the inspired look that even the most “normal” Muppet characters have had in the past. That’s rather disappointing.

    • I agree with you, but at the same time, I think it might have been too risky for them to come up with another crazy character OR to try and attempt to create something that Jim Henson was clearly the master of. There are already so many outrageous Muppets that fans are loyal to. Plus, they had to create a storyline somehow!

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  8. Jeff says:

    I was never a Muppets fan growing up.
    But for some reason, I’m really psyched for this movie.

    Has the marketing “captured me”????

    Yep.

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