When it comes to marketing, one show is one step ahead of the game and it is Better Call Saul.
As a fan of the Breaking Bad prequel, I’ve been looking into their marketing strategy and I can definitely say one thing: they are the reason why I love marketing.
The AMC series has now released 3 seasons and each one has been an event in the United States.
Film prop as outdoor advertising
Back in 2014 (what? that’s already 3 years ago?), the first series of the show had to be slightly promoted even though it was not that necessary given how successful Breaking Bad had been and had left the fans longing for more after the end, one year before. The excitement didn’t fade away and fans were waiting for this much anticipated spin-off featuring Saul Goodman. Outdoor advertising on a large scale was the first step, but it had to differ from the conventional type. The marketing team decided to leave a very special prop in Albuquerque: a life-size billboard with Saul’s – formerly known as Jimmy McGill number on it.
The fact that they did it over a year before the release of the first season created excitement around the arrival of the TV show. This strategy was pretty effective since a great number of curious minds picked up their phone and called.
Partnership and social media contest
They did it again with the second season when they teamed up with the bakery restaurant, Cinnabon. The main character started working there from the first episode of the spin-off and both BCS and Cinnabon believed a partnership could be advantageous. Cinnabon regularly offers discounts and merchandise to attract customers and the TV show benefits from the great exposure of the leading cinnamon roll company.
The social media contest they created was simple: take a selfie with Saul’s carboard cut-outs in the restaurant and use the hashtag #SaulSelfie. The instructions were directly written on the cut-out so that customers unaware of the competition could enter. The lucky winner got to attend a Better Call Saul event.
The partnership has been stronger than ever since both parties are winners here!
Experiential event marketing
Well, the release of the third season was the icing on the cake (and my favourite if we’re being honest). Experiential event marketing has been proven to be very effective over the last few years since the customer gets to live an experience, and develops a lasting memory of this moment. The marketing team created a real-life restaurant chain that reminds the customers of the infamous drug front: Los Pollos Hermanos. The chicken fast-food restaurants were built in LA, Austin and NY for a short period of time. Also promoting the return of a fan favourite, Gus Fring played by Giancarlo Esposito.
They added to this event some media advertising and PR with the showing-up of a few actors on the spot. The restaurant literally welcomed customers and served them fries (or chips if you’re English😉). This kind of strategy is perfect to launch a new product and build an everlasting relationship with the customer. What’s more, it’s a good way to draw attention to the brand and generate buzz because it still goes on after the event: people share their experience on social media and the press talks about it.
Now, let’s see what they will come up with for the fourth season which will not air before September 2018. One thing is certain: we all could use a little bit of inspiration from them.
Photo credit: stevenxsolis and varago01 on Instagram / Better Call Saul Season 3 Episode 2 poster by Matt Talbot