Sunday, 30 June 2013

The Minions Marketing Strategy

In 2010, Illumination Entertainment and producer Chris Meledandri published a genius idea that would go on to create havoc amongst children, couples and families alike. They released Despicable Me, but that wasn’t the idea; it was the invention of Gru’s Minions. You know them tiny, yellow, beefy robot things that squeak in chipmunk pace, wear goggles and have different hairstyles? Yeah, them. The first major publication of the Minion was in the following trailer:  Three years on, the Minions have built up a legacy similar to that of the Toy Story franchise. Under construction is a new ride titled ‘Minion Mayhem’ at Universal Studios Florida and there are countless amounts of Twitter pages in dedication (@MinionFM, DM_Minions).

Youtube screenshot
They speak their own language but have the same tone qualities as humans. Their language is essentially like the unique communication that babies have with one another. For example, when my nephew says something like “agoo googoo lala ma?” and my niece’s response is something like “aga! aga! aga!”, they’ve probably plotted a plan to smash my Xbox. The loyal nature of the Minions - despite the fact that they work for a villain in the movie - makes them come across as very innocent (North Korea reference?) Pre-release, the producers of the movie pushed to promote the Minions and I remember wanting to watch the movie to see them alone. When I finally watched Despicable Me, I thought the movie had a great plot with educational value, a charming lead character in Gru, and the cutest baby in the world in Agnes. However, I only made these judgements after watching these movies (obviously, Sahil). My point is, the reason that I wanted to watch the movie was to see more of the Minions and I’m sure that I wasn’t the only one. The Minions became something that couples-in-love would begin to refer to, toddlers and kids would begin to imitate and toy stores would begin to produce in abundance. Despite not having any real relevance in the plot, the Minions became an image worldwide.

The simple yet genius move was the decision to turn the Minions into not just an image, but a brand. We have t-shirts, inflatables, soft toys, battery toys, apps, phone covers, the Minion song and so much more. Miranda Cosgrove – who by the way is the weakest point of the movie – recently threw this picture on Instagram when she was here for the premiere of the sequel: Can you imagine any other animated figure of recent times that has this sort of power? The hype for Despicable Me 2 is even greater than Monsters University from what I can see, and this has to be due to the clever emphasis on Minion promotion. I can’t describe my happiness at the fact that the same makers are going to release a Minions spin-off movie later this year but for now, I can’t wait to go and watch them cause mayhem in Despicable Me 2. Now imagine, how much [more] success would the Madagascar franchise have if they did the same thing with King Julian?

My theatrical version of Stan

My theatrical version of Stan