Whilst reading the Metro on my daily commute this morning I was reading how Disney's latest film to hit the cinema (John Carter) is set to be the biggest flop of the year, with the estimated loss for Disney being in the region of $200 million.
The article then went on to point out that last year's biggest flop was “Mars Needs Moms”. Has anyone seen this film? Had anyone heard of it before I (or the Metro) mentioned it? I hadn't until I stumbled across it one Saturday/Sunday morning on Sky Go for the iPad for my little boy to watch whilst pretending it wasn’t time to get up and trying to have a lie-in of sorts. He loved it, (and I secretly enjoyed it too) so much that its up there in his top films. Granted he's only 4, but it still shows that Disney hit the right notes in this little boy's heart... So why was this film a flop?
Well... I ask again... Had you heard of it before now? I think the problem lies there. The only reason I put it on at all was because it was an animated film made recently (in the last couple of years) that we hadn't seen before from the selection that was available. Not because I'd seen a poster for it, I knew anything about it or had I heard friends talking/asking about it... So I can't help but think that's the reason for it being a flop.
The studios seem to on each occasion allocate about $100 million for marketing, so (in my view) its not that they're not investing in marketing at all, but instead, they're doing something wrong... Either using the wrong channels, or not giving the right message... Perhaps their marketing agency just were in-tune with the film or the audience this time. Who knows for sure?
One things clear... It didn't work this time.
What has this cost Disney? A lot of money, not only the money they invested into marketing, but also the money that they spent on the film that they're making in the first place, a lack of ticket sales means they didn't cover the cost of making the film. Now Disney is a pretty cash rich business, fortunately the large majority of their films are a success, but small businesses and particularly start-ups aren't that fortunate. Such a failure in marketing could bring about the early termination of the business, or the closure of an established business. This only highlights the need to correctly market your business and your products, first time. Spend time to make sure you get it right as you won't necessarily get a second chance to put it right later. And if you're unsure, why not speak with one of our consultants (for some free advice) about brand, marketing your business and whether you're taking the right approach.
We'll gladly point you in the right direction if we think you need it.