Last night we got dressed up to see a movie.
To be more specific, my boys and a group of their friends created their own matching yellow t-shirts while I sported a black t-shirt and Gru-scarf to complete our crew. Our dedication was slightly before the full hype started for for the latest installment in the Minions franchise – Minions: The Rise of Gru. This #minionscult fever has led the film to a blockbuster opening and a meme that has overtaken Tik Tok and other social media platforms, filled with people dressing up in formal wear or minions garb to enjoy the film.
The movie is the latest in a string of box office successes leading to a resurgence in movie theater attendance after two long years of depressed sales. For the most part, the movies dominating the 2022 box office list belong to large franchises: Marvel’s latest Spiderman, Thor and Doctor Strange films, the Top Gun sequel, and the Jurassic World sequel. Their successes, though, are likely causing marketers and leaders in all industries to wonder if they can recreate some Minion marketing magic for themselves. To do it, there are a few questions they should consider first:
1. Is the level of effort involved reasonable? One of the reasons movie launches like this generate so much passion is because they only require a momentary commitment. I don’t have to dress up like a minion every day or start writing a minion blog The short term extreme fandom works for me, and it works for them. We both win and we’re both happy.
2. Does it involve some controversy? Reports of some theaters banning people who were dressed up from attending the Minions movie also offered a spark for the movement to go viral. It’s easier to be part of a movement if you feel there’s something a little controversial and perhaps a little defiant about it.
3. Can it bring me closer to people I care about? It was rare to see an image shared from #minionscult where someone was dressed up alone. Most people joined the movement with their friends or family. The communal part of this was important, and helped fuel the buzz.