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In Ralph Breaks the Internet, a sequel to 2012’s Wreck-It Ralph, Ralph and Vanellope are best friends, palling around their video game world by night and working in their video games by day. But Vanellope wants more. More excitement, more opportunities and possibly less Ralph, at least that’s what he thinks. All of this leads the unlikely duo to an adventure inside the internet — a chaotic and possibly dangerous place that will force them to confront all their fears, and of course become internet stars.
Like all good Disney movies, there are takeaways for everyone, including marketers. Behind the good-hearted messages about choosing your own destiny and self-worth, there are also valuable lessons for marketers related to social media campaigns, diversity and co-branding.
Embrace New Technologies When They Benefit Your Brand
For Ralph and Vanellope, everything about the internet is new — and overwhelming. But with the help of a reliable expert, Ralph quickly learns about the power of social media and creating a brand that connects with users. Ralph has a goal, and the hilarious and efficient approach he uses to achieve it is ultimately effective. Marketers shouldn’t be afraid of new technology or new approaches on existing platforms, especially with social media. Good content and well-thought out social campaigns can yield significant brand awareness, consumer engagement and long-term dividends.
Viral Is Great, But Be Ready to Follow Up with A Strong Campaign
Ralph’s viral campaign is hugely popular and effective, but since he’s an animated character he doesn’t need a well-rounded campaign strategy to scale his success on social. However, marketers do. You can’t build a brand with one great idea, even if it takes off for a little while. Viral is short lived, but it can be a good start or a useful element of a strong, multi-channel campaign.
A Diverse Team Creates Broader Reach & More Effective Messaging
Princesses, Eeyore and heroic race car drivers populate Ralph’s diverse world of characters, personalities and franchises. While you may not be able to hire a virtual video game heroine to get your team revved up for your company’s future, you can build out your team with a diverse, lively, rigorous group of thinkers. Diversity and inclusion inevitably offer a broader reach when acquiring clients and produce more effective messaging when the time comes to build campaigns.
Strategic Branding Works When All Players Benefit
In a movie that takes place in the internet, it is inevitable that co-branding is going to happen. Google, Ebay, Pinterest and other mega brands appear prominently in Ralph’s world, featured organically as part of the setting, and co-branded with the Disney feature. Ralph himself develops a strategic partnership with BuzzTube when he needs to launch his viral campaign. BuzzTube’s trendsetter-in-chief Yesss works with Ralph’s existing brand as an iconic 1980s video game guy, building a campaign using Yesss’s knowledge as a walking algorithm, leading to success for both Ralph and BuzzTube. Co-branding and strategic partnerships, when well matched, can be a win-win for both players.
Be True to Your Brand While Staying Relevant to Your Customers
Ralph is having a hard time letting Vanellope follow her dreams. He likes their friendship and lives just as they are, and he doesn’t want to change. Ultimately, he realizes it’s not about him. He needs to support his friend. It might be scary to change what seems like an effective campaign, but as marketers, your responsibility is to your customers and serving their needs, which continually evolve. Maintain the integrity of their brand and yours, but be ready to make moves when necessary. Nobody likes a rut. And don’t worry, Ralph and Vanellope work it out.
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