Marketing 101: Learning From The Popularity of The Minions Movies

Introduced in the Despicable Me movie franchise back in 2010, Minions have grown to become global icons. Winning the hearts of kids and grown-ups alike. And that too for more than a decade! This did not happen without all the marketing effort that the animation studio, Illumination, put into marketing the Minions movies. Turning a simple fictional character into a global sensation! Now that’s a journey worth studying, isn’t it? 

Who can say no to the indestructible, banana-loving, boss-seeking tiny yellow pranksters? But how did the marketing team manage to make Minions popular in the highly-competitive space? Let’s find that out. In this blog, we are going to talk about some of the marketing lessons that any brand can acquire from the massive fan following for the Minions. 

Lessons From the Minions Movies’ Marketing Strategies 

1. Have a brand color and go strong with it 

We can safely say that the Minions movies have given us the biggest lesson in the use of brand colors in marketing. So much so that even Pantone released a color, Minion Yellow, named after these adorable characters. 

Why does yellow work perfectly for the Minions? Yellow represents joy which is pretty much the kind of emotion that the Minions evoke. Of course, bananas are yellow too! 

But Illumination has managed to use the color so strongly in all of its promotions starting from the first Minions movie that it is an instantly recognizable connection now. 

Kimp Tips

When you have to choose your brand color, think about the emotional response you wish to evoke in your audience. For this, you will have to put yourself in your customers’ shoes and understand what it feels like to use your products/services. 

To make this even simpler, identify the kind of problem that your brand solves for your customers. And then understand how your customers feel once the problem is solved. Once you have identified this emotion, look for a color that best captures this feeling. That’s one way to choose the right brand color. 

Once you have a solid brand color, for customers to make an actual connection with it, you need to be consistent with your branding. If the chosen color does not appear in your logo and other branding designs. Or if customers cannot see it in your ads, they might not connect it with your brand. It takes at least 5 to 7 impressions for a customer to start remembering a brand. 

With a Kimp Graphics subscription, creating consistent designs and strengthening your brand’s visual identity is so much simpler. 

2. Understand what your customers like 

On Twitter and on social media, there were a series of updates from the Minions page about the NBA finals game. In these comical illustrations featuring Minions in jerseys of various NBA teams, THE GOAT was part of every picture. Short for The Greatest Of All Time, a goat character has been portrayed consistently in several of the posts connecting Minions and the NBA games. 

Fans who have been following the Minions: The Rise of Gru movie updates will instantly recognize this reference. Such consistent conversations about things your customers like can be beneficial to the brand. Posts like these strike the right chord not just with Minions fans but also with NBA fans. And that’s how you build more fan following. 

Kimp Tips

Do not treat social media as just a place to promote your brand. Use it to build conversations with your audience. And one way to do this will be to talk about things your customers like. Like the NBA discussion on the Minions page on Instagram. 

And as you can see in the above example, visuals do the talking in a more effective way. Simply seeing the names and colors of the teams will be enough for respective fans to recognize and connect with the post. Posts like these are highly engaging. 

Want to use illustrations to create such quirky and engaging posts for your social media page? Choose a Kimp Graphics subscription. 

3. Cross-promote like a pro 

If you look at most successful movie franchises, they all have one thing in common. They go big when it comes to cross-promotion. And the promotions for the Minions movies have been no different. 

The Minions and McDonald’s collaboration is something we all know quite well. Close to the release of every one of the Minions movies you will find Minions toys as a part of the McDonald’s Happy Meal. 

Here is a fun video created as a part of the promotional partnership with Vivo smartphones. 

Kimp Tips

When it comes to creating designs for your cross-promotion, keep the color palette simple. Most social media images and even print designs look good with just two or three colors in many cases. And these primary colors should be the brand colors of both the brands in the collaboration. 

Finally, ensure that the visual style and the tone of the message are also optimized to capture the personality of both the brands in some way. 

4. Merchandise marketing makes your brand memorable 

It’s been 10 years since the first Despicable Movie came out. And a few Minions movies did not perform as expected at the box office. But that did not change things for the Minions. The recent Minions movie, Minions: The Rise Of Gru, is the biggest animation movie release of the pandemic in 43 different markets around the world. That’s the power of memorability in marketing. 

And merchandise marketing contributes a great deal to making a brand memorable. From quirky holiday decor to cute t-shirts, plushies, and a host of other souvenirs, we have seen quite a lot of variety in the official Minions merchandise collection. 

Kimp Tips

With branded merchandise, you create tangible assets to represent your brand. Customers get a slice of your brand to hold on to long after the interaction with your brand. This makes it easier for them to remember your brand. And eventually helps boost brand loyalty too. 

In merchandise marketing, catchy designs and quality prints are the way to go. Need help creating prints for stationery sets or t-shirts and other merchandise? Get in touch with the Kimp team today. 

5. Acknowledge your audience 

The movie Minions: The Rise Of Gru has made teenage moviegoers dress up to the theater in suits. Yes, we are talking about the viral #gentleMinions trend on TikTok. If you have not already heard about it, this one popped up after a group of teens showed up for the screening of the movie dressing in suits. 

Bill Hirst, the TikTok creator behind this trend, and his friends wanted to celebrate the movie and the nostalgia it brought in for them. Since then several fans have visited the theaters dressed in formal attire. And videos featuring this hashtag have garnered millions of views on TikTok. 

The movie has been a big hit with the GenZers who were kids when the first ever Minions Movie, Despicable Me, was released. And when you get such a warm response from your audience. what better way to honor it than to endorse it? And that’s exactly what Universal Pictures did. 

It doesn’t end with a Tweet. We also spotted a cute GIF on the Minions official page honoring this viral trend. 

Kimp Tips

The above example is one good lesson for brands to take away. When customers celebrate your product or even talk about it on social media, acknowledge them. Because these conversations that actual customers initiate turn out to be unexpected drivers for sales. 

When you do share your customer stories on your page, either in a post or in Story, remember to add a bit of your brand color. Or better yet, create a template where you can fit your customer stories or mentions. Also, remember to use the hashtag you have created for the particular product and your brand hashtag

6. Get creative with motion graphics 

Motion graphics is an inseparable part of content marketing like promoting movies. And that is something we all know. But what matters is adding your creative flair. Conventional videos, trailers, and interview footage are all part of movie promotions. But Minion marketing goes beyond all this. You will find some interesting animated loops and easily shareable GIFs on the social media page of Illumination and also on the official Minions page. 

The animated loop in the above example shows how you can take a simple video clip and turn it into something interesting by adding a text overlay. 

And the below video shows the power of illustrated videos. 

Kimp Tips

Motion graphics is a vast area. Do not stop with simple videos for brand promotion. You can edit raw footage and add your brand’s flair to it. Or you can create simple static animations with an existing illustration. Or even create an engaging illustrated video like the one above. 

Keep switching things up on your social media page. More than 54% of consumers expect more video content from the brands they like. With this growing affinity towards video content, you should have a scalable video content plan. 

And what’s one way to make this a reality? A Kimp Video subscription. With just one subscription you can create a wide range of motion graphics for your brand’s promotion. 

7. Leave no stone unturned – omnichannel marketing is the way forward

Just because digital ads are dominating the marketing realm, Illumination does not shy away from print marketing for the Minions movies. Here is a picture of when the Minions took over the LA Times masthead. 

A simple newspaper ad will have been enough. But considering the competition out there, “enough” is not good. You need to surprise your audience. Engage them. And that’s what creative ad designs and ad placements like the above example can do for your brand. 

Kimp Tips 

Diversifying your marketing portfolio is always a good idea. Because every channel has its perks. For example, print ads like newspaper ads and flyers are great for cost-effective localized promotions. Digital ads work well in improving the visibility of your brand. 

When you have to maintain such omnichannel marketing efforts, there is just one crucial thing to remember – do not take visual consistency lightly. And do not forget to add a strong CTA. (well, that’s two things, but anyway!)

Wondering how to keep your designs looking connected? Work with a single team for all your designs. Wondering how to do that? Simple, choose a Kimp subscription!

8. Keep up with the trends 

Just because Minions are popular at a global level, the promotions for the recent movie have not been simple. A lot has changed in the media industry right from the trend of going to the theater to watch a movie. Adapting to the recent industry trends, the promotions for the movie have also been quite creative. 

NFTs have become a hot topic recently. And with its Minion-themed NFT drop, the marketing team of the movie Minions: The Rise of Gru has shown how important it is to keep up with trends. 

NFTs have been catching up in the world of marketing quite rapidly. And so, this is a brilliant move! 

Kimp Tips 

NFTs are a big thing not just for art creators and designers. Brands have been using them creatively in marketing. We have a blog on how to use NFTs in marketing if you wish to learn more about this. And if you need help designing NFTs as a part of your marketing strategy, the Kimp Graphics subscription is here 

With Kimp, Each of Your Designs Will Be One-in-a-Minion

Though there have been many animation movie characters, not many have the fan-following that the Minions have. All thanks to the brilliant marketing efforts of the teams behind these movies. Now that you have seen a few examples, to begin with, use these ideas to revamp your marketing strategy. Focus on building connections than just promotions. And you are sure to make a difference. And with a Kimp subscription, all your designs for these campaigns will be covered in just one monthly bill. 

Start your free trial today.