Schwarzenegger on Marketing

Schwarzenegger and ‘Jim’ Cameron will be teaming up on a new Terminator movie. At least we know the marketing will be great.

Recently I’ve been reading the autobiography of the prior Governator Arnold Schwarzenegger.

And it truly is a rags to riches story. His work ethic, ambition and promotional nous led to him amassing millions before he was even a movie star. His appointment to Governor of California was no fluke (whatever your opinions on his performance in said role).

Anywho. Enough eulogizing.

I want to focus on one chapter in particular on turning around the fortunes of the movie Total Recall (as it relates to my recent post on dealing with failure).

At the time, Total Recall was the most expensive movie ever made. It was a bold attempt at bringing sci-fi to the masses, and a lot of careers were riding on its success.

But the pre-launch test scores were BAD.

Even after weeks of trailers and advertisements, its ‘awareness’ score was in the 40s, when it needed to be in the 90s. Unless they did something drastic, Total Recall was on track to be Turkey of the Year.

So what did Arnold do?

He switched the marketing team.

Out went the team who were clueless on how to market such a weird, over the top story (this typically comes down to a lack of research in our world), and in came a team that devised new hooks, big ideas and taglines.

The result?

Within two weeks, Total Recall’s awareness score rocketed to 92 percent. It went on to achieve the biggest opening weekend yet recorded, earned over $300 million worldwide and even picked up an Oscar.

All from switching up the marketing.

As Arnold writes:

The experience proves how important marketing is – how important it is to tell people what this is about; really blow up their skirt and make them say, “I have to go see this movie”

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