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Marketing Strategy Analysis: Baywatch Movie Trailer

Omitting Staples of Television Show’s Success is a Bad Marketing Strategy 

Paramount Pictures has released the trailer for the Baywatch movie, and it’s a big letdown for longtime fans (it’s OK to admit this show was your guilty pleasure). As Baywatch afficionados, we expect a few key elements to be present in a Baywatch trailer. For starters, it’s not Baywatch without the signature theme song. It’s certainly not Baywatch without David Hasselhoff or Pamela Anderson. Yet none of those key elements to the show’s success are present in the promo. It’s one thing to update a beloved franchise. But it’s important to not make it a complete departure. Especially when you’re making a movie based on one of the most-watched television shows in the world. In this case, the production team had a lot to live up to. Yet they neglected to include any of the things that made it such a fun, silly, and entertaining show. That’s more than just a bad trailer. That’s a bad marketing strategy.

Building On Your Brand

That’s not to say the movie won’t be a hit, however. Directed by Seth Gordon (Horrible Bosses), the flick stars Hollywood hotties Dwayne Johnson, Zac Efron, Alexandra Daddario and Priyanka Chopra, among others. This cast brings the sex appeal that made viewers of the Baywatch television show drool from 1989-2001. But there doesn’t seem to be anything that ties them to the original cast, other than Efron’s character of Matt Brody, who was originally portrayed by David Charvet on the small screen. This can easily be just another summer beach movie without the Baywatch name.   Wikipedia lists The Hoff and Pamela Anderson among the cast for the movie, but they didn’t even have a cameo in the promo.

If a film is going to build off a tidal wave size brand, it has to honor a bit of the show’s history and contributors to its success. The promo opens with Dwayne Johnson speaking about how his lifeguard team is the heart and soul of the beach. The first three seconds of music from the old Baywatch theme song set the tone, but viewers will miss lyrics that jet-started each episode. You know, the song “I’ll Be Ready,” by Jim Jamison. Sing along: “Some people stand in the darkness, afraid to step into the light….”

Ok, great job! Now back to discussing the two-minute trailer.

There’s adventure, mystery, humor, bikinis and those famous red lifeguard uniforms. Those were all present in the TV series and are ingredients for an entertaining movie. It’ll sell tickets for the summer and viewers will enjoy it, but the verdict as to whether Baywatch the movie keeps all the core elements of the series success afloat remains to be seen.



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