Killing Kennedy on Streets of New York

Killing Kennedy is the new movie, released November 10, 2013 and produced by National Geographic.

This movie set a record for National Geographic’s TV viewership – at about 3.5 million viewers. Was it the topic? Was it the creative marketing tactic that drove awareness and interest for TV viewers to tune in?

I happened to be walking by the Time Warner Center the other day when a gentleman’s voice caught my attention, “Extra, Extra, read all about it”. He was dressed up, but I didn’t pay too much attention as I walked further.

Killing Kennedy News

I then focused on the news stand, which didn’t look familiar. And then the rest of his announcement filtered in, “President Kennedy shot, read all about it!”

Killing Kennedy News

I realized these actors were dressed in period costumes, and handing out newspapers with the news. After looking to the side, you could see it was a promotion for the movie, Killing Kennedy, which aired on National Geographic on November 10.

 Killing Kennedy News

I was amused by the effort put in by the creative folks to put up a news stand, have the “paper boy” (and girl) and hand out actual papers with news of that unforgettable day.

New York, and other high density metros tend to be good locations to launch guerilla marketing tactics (or “experiential marketing”). Using the Time Warner Center is ideal, at Columbus Circle because it gets a major metro stop of local commuters, and it also captures a fair amount of tourists. This helps create the buzz, and usually will have increased results by reaching an influential audience that tends to interact with larger numbers of people. Additional stands were set up in New York, including Madison Square Park.

When you can be fully immersed in an interactive advertising campaign, you don’t feel that you are being advertised too – it becomes enjoyable as you can appreciate the theme of the product, in this case a movie.

When you are considering a tactic with the public, keep in mind that if you are going for a theme, jump in with both feet. If this activity had simply involved a few individuals handing out newspapers, it would not have been nearly as effective. What had an impact, and in this case made me stop, was the large newsstand that was the extra touch to immerse me in the experience. Another effective factor was that the “product” or “brand” wasn’t being pushed on you. Only once you were immersed in it, did you come away realizing what it was for.

Additional Commentary on Killing Kennedy and National Geographic’s marketing:

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