Engage This: A Wizard’s Touch

Magic never particularly enamored me. For
that and various other half reasons, I didn’t pick up a Harry Potter book
until I was 25. But once I did I blew threw them, and I’m amazed it’s taken more than five years for the next iteration of JK Rowling’s wizarding world to be brought
to life.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them hits theaters November 18th. In the Harry Potter series,
it was a textbook for Hogwarts students written by Newt Scamander. In the
movie, Newt is wrapping up a worldwide search for magical creatures in New York
City in the mid 1920s, and some of the creatures escape his suitcase.

More magical than the movie
promises to be, however, is a piece of engagement marketing they’ve conjured.

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Google
has partnered with the film to provide a dream to Android users. With the help
of their voice control feature, they can hold their phone, say “Okay, Google,”
and then command the spells for light – lumos – and lights out – nox. They can also say silencio! and
their ringer will turn silent.

It’s brilliant. Utterly brilliant. And
such a welcome change from the inundation of interruption marketing. Instead of
a mudslide of ads that elicit a decision simply by wearing down the consumer,
it’s all about engaging them. To that end, it’s also about knowing the
audience.

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We’re at a point where consumers don’t just have control
over what they consume, but want it. They want something for
their time and money beyond just the satisfaction that comes with getting or
experiencing a new product. They want a company’s values to reflect their own,
and this is where Google and Fantastic Beasts really hit a dinger.

I’ll bet the majority of people who go see Fantastic Beasts will
be people in their late 20s and early 30s who grew up with the Potter franchise.
These are the same people who are coming into their own, who want to afford
themselves smiles and peace of mind even if their paycheck alone can’t
necessarily give it to them. That’s why a shot in the dark with fifty
billboards on the way to work isn’t the way to get their butts in theater seats.
They don’t get anything from those.

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But the ability to cast a spell? To chastise someone in
earnest like Hermione does Ron? That’s priceless. Take my $12.50 or whatever
the hell. I don’t even care about the money at that point. I care that they
thought enough about me as a consumer to
make my experience memorable before it even happened.

No comic this week, gang. Not much in a joking mood. 

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