Jumping on the bunny bandwagon

116 years after he first came to life, Peter Rabbit has made the perfect marketing reappearance.  Loved by children for generations, this mischievous little bunny has finally become the star of his own movie, guaranteeing that a whole new generation of children will rediscover the incredible story-telling of Beatrix Potter.

The film follows the loveable little rabbit’s most recent appearance in the 2012 animated series, simply titled ‘Peter Rabbit’.  And after being talked about for two years, the much-anticipated film is set to be one of the biggest sellers of 2018.

And it’s all just in time for Easter.

What better season to go rabbit (cute fluffy bunny) crazy?  Cinemas everywhere are running the film in the Easter holidays.  Every Easter egg hunt possible is jumping on the bunny bandwagon.  ‘Peter Rabbit’ is making more appearances than is humanly possible. 

The timing could not be better; children can’t get enough of him and parents are more than grateful for the schedule of entertainment over the two-week break.

But of course, it’s not just about the events.  Retailers are producing stunning Peter Rabbit ranges and publishers have released beautiful books.  Manufacturers are even savouring the moment with UK veg supplier, Mash Direct, teaming up with the famous rabbit in a bid to boost healthy eating.  And the Cadbury’s egg, featuring a Peter Rabbit plush toy, is sure to be a sales winner.

It’s a moment in time opportunity.  But one which required foresight and planning for those looking to reap the marketing benefit.  If you saw the potential and added Peter Rabbit to your business plan, then you’ll be thanking your lucky stars this Easter.

Timing, as always, is a key ingredient to any marketing execution.  Too early and no-one cares, too late and you’ve missed the boat.  So, in planning your promotional activity, there’s a few things to bear in mind if you don’t want your timing to let you down.

Seasonality is just one of these factors.  There are specific events in the year when people will be more inclined to buy certain products.  Healthy living and weight loss are a New Year must.  Delicious fish dishes get more air space during Lent.  And Halloween is a marketer’s dream for anything slightly scary.  People are programmed to these annual calendar dates.  They know what they ‘need’ to buy for when, but it doesn’t take much marketing persuasion to veer them slightly off course; they’re in the zone – a red-hot sales lead.

Play on this psychology.  Think about what your audience will be thinking at certain times of the year and give them the solutions.  Easter marks the start of spring in many ways; people are generally happy and excited about all the pretty things around them.  It’s a time of giving and generosity – especially for children.  Offer something new and innovative (yet seasonal), because people are up for spending and willing to give ‘new things’ a try.

The responsiveness of your audience is crucial too.  You need to assess how likely they are to buy; is there a window of opportunity or is it going to roll-on for months?  Your communications can influence this to some degree.  You can start to drop teasers in the run up to a campaign (perfect content for social media) and create anticipation around what is yet to come.  If people feel they could miss out, their propensity to purchase will heighten.

And then there’s your competitors.  What is the likelihood that they will do something similar?  You need to be the first out there, especially if you think there’s a chance they’ll have spotted the same opportunity.  Think carefully about your launch plan and how your messaging is going to support this.  What added-value could you give by way of an introductory offer, prize giveaway or even a partnership where you could join forces and offer a better whole?

There’s no doubt that those savvy enough to spot the Peter Rabbit pot of gold two years ago (when the film was first rumoured) and secure royalty rights, will be ticking it off as a success.  To map out their game plan and launch ahead of Easter 2018 is some fine strategic planning.  Proof that a strong, tactical approach, supported by a sound execution and great content, works wonders.  It’s all in the timing.

So much so it seems that Easter chicks just aren’t getting a look in… Until the next time!

Happy Easter everyone!