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  • Writer's pictureBrian Markey

The marketing team for the upcoming Dune movie is winning

Dune, written by Frank Herbert, is one of my favorite books of all time. Herbert's reputation within science fiction is similar to that of J.R.R. Tolkien when it comes to fantasy. When I learned a few years ago that Denis Villeneuve would be directing a new film adaptation, I became slightly too excited. There was one version made decades ago that I tried to watch but couldn't because it was cringeworthy, and apparently there's an HBO series from the early 2000s as well.

Either way, I cannot wait for October when this movie comes out. Enough about my excitement levels, let's talk about the absolute genius that is the marketing team for this movie.

Due to copyright issues, I can't post the image here, but I will describe it as best as I can. A movie poster was released recently for the movie. Typically, movie posters are quite artistic and interesting to look at, introducing the world that will be presented in the movie. The bottom 1/5th of the poster shows a desert landscape, with the rest being a blue/grey sky. The main characters are all in the foreground in their costumes, mostly from the chest up. The text simply says "It Begins: Dune," with the release date at the bottom. It is a pretty barren poster for such a big movie.

So what makes this such a great marketing move? First of all, Dune has a pretty niche fanbase. While it is very successful, it has nowhere near the mainstream following that Lord of the Rings or Star Wars enjoys. The existing fanbase is probably going to see the movie without too much convincing, and I am proof of that.

But I am not in the only target audience for this movie. The studio wants this movie to be successful with mainstream audiences, and just drawing in book fans will not make enough money for Dune.

Which is why the poster is genius, because the big draw of this film for the average moviegoer is its all-star cast. Here is the cast list for this movie: Timothee Chalamet, Oscar Isaac, Zendaya, Jason Momoa, Rebecca Ferguson, Josh Brolin, Stellan Skarsgard, Dave Bautista, Javier Bardem, and a few more well known names. Instead of trying to be artsy and make a beautiful poster that makes people curious, the designer(s) go with a flat background and throw up pictures of some of the biggest Hollywood names in costumes.

While the Dune books have a niche fanbase, these actors and actresses do not. Many of them are household names, and the cast is often the biggest draw for any movie. Whoever is on the marketing team knows that their target is mainstream audiences, and they know how to entice them.

Knowing your target audience, and just as importantly, knowing what they want, is key to growing your business. What gets them out of bed? What inspires them? What are the challenges they face on a daily basis or during different life stages? Knowing the answers to these questions can guide you toward successfully marketing your business to them.

Writing a target audience persona can help you find concrete ways to connect with your customers. Come up with an individual who exemplifies your target audience and create a personality profile of them. What is their job or income, what does their family look like, what kind of car do they drive, what do they do on weekends. Once you have your profile, gear your marketing strategies toward this made-up person. Just make sure that you truly understand your audience, otherwise you may run into trouble when trying to connect with them.

Use the marketing team for the Dune poster as an example of knowing who your audience is, what they want, and how to get them to take the action you desire.

On a personal note, I would love for you to see this movie, because the more money that it makes, the more likely that a sequel will be made. Maybe you can help out a big fan and buy a ticket! Also, Denis Villeneuve is an amazing director, so it's unlikely you would be disappointed.

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