Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The Pig & The Python:

A Long Term Marketing Strategy That Works

When I was a tween, my best friend Dieter called me up and invited me to his house. As soon as I entered he exclaimed out loud, " gotta see this!"

As we raced upstairs and entered his brother Pete's room, there was a small crowd of our buddies from school. Mike, Bret, and now me and Dieter...all pressed against the glass of a small terrarium. And there it was. A tiger snake coiled up about to attack a fresh white mouse.

Okay, some of you are horrified, but how else does someone feed a pet snake?

Yes pet stores frown on this practice, but snake owners rotate stores as to not become suspect. Now back to my story....

With lightening speed, the snake leaped forward biting the terrified mouse. It squeaked and died under the comparatively massive jowls of the Tiger Snake. Slowly, the snake unhinged its jaw, and began to devour the carcass until it was nothing more than a bulge in the body of an orange colored snake.

This digestive action is called peristalsis. You can look it up online but it basically means digestion without teeth. Pure muscular movement of the esophagus, along with digestive juices...well you get the picture. This is how a python can digest a large pig. Over time, the entire pig is digested. It is also why some snakes only feed once a month.

But the concept of this peristaltic movement, The Pig & The Python - is also a marketing term.

I awaited in anticipation to see the remakes of The Green Hornet, True Grit and The Mechanic, I am always reminded of the Pig & The Python by David Cork. Who is ready for The Avengers: Age of Ultron?

As a marketing term, The Pig & The Python is an attempt to take a brand that Baby Boomers grew up with - think Batman, Speed Racer, and Battlestar Galactica - and repackage it with special effects, a story rewrite and a few sequels - and resell it. But here is the peristaltic part: refeed a group of people with something they already know and love, just update it.

But more importantly, get a new generation
hooked on the brand as well.

Boomers drag their kids to these movies...or more importantly, tell stories from the glory days of their childhood. This gets another generation hooked on the same brand. Over and over again. thirty years from now, be on the lookout for a remake of The Transformers, Harry Potter and Pokemon movies.

When trying to find a target audience, keep in mind, a built in audience and the Pig & The Python.

Why do you think they have remade Batman, Superman (and tried to match the Christopher Reeve's version) The Manchurian Candidate, Star Trek, Arthur, Speed Racer, Alice in Wonderland, The Addams Family, etc...or even more amazing is the landslide of all the comic book heroes being reimagined...Iron Man, Spider-Man, Green Lantern and Avengers 3:Age of Ultron.  

All of these remakes are an attempt to bring back the glory days of the Baby Boomer and the brands they grew up with.

Now some of these remakes bomb miserably, like movie remake of the British TV Series also entitled The Avengers. Or The Lone Ranger with Johnny Depp. Did you see any Speed Racer cartoons out when the Speed Racer movie was about to be released? Or The Avengers TV series with Diana Rigg, or the original Lone Ranger episodes on TV Land? No...The reason is, no one primed the pump to get Boomers excited again to go see the remake. Yet executives at the top wonder why it didn't do so well. Duh.

Try building our anticipation folks.

The Pig & The Python. Keep feeding a brand over and over until it is completely digested.

Cool huh?

Thanks for reading,

Brad Szollose 
Bridging The Generational Divide: Multigenerational management expert, award-winning author, business consultant and keynote speaker

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