Good marketing + great content = success

I recently watched ‘The King’s Speech’ at my local independent cinema and walked away feeling very happy. The film was wonderful! It was brilliantly performed, very well directed and beautifully shot, capturing the atmosphere and the feel of England in the 1920’s & 30’s perfectly.

But I can’t help but feel that without the promotional backing from its makers the film might not have gained the same success it is currently finding during the early part of the awards season. ‘The King’s Speech’ is an exceptionally accomplished film, and yet it is not your conventional ‘Hollywood blockbuster’. I’ve seen many other British, indie-inspired films struggle – particularly in the multiplexes – when they’ve gone head-to-head with big name, star-driven US movies. But ‘The Kings Speech’ has proved to be a big hit – both in Britain and abroad.

First of all, it’s worth briefly looking at some of the tactics the studios used to promote ‘The King’s Speech’:


I first heard positive murmurings about ‘The King’s Speech’ back in the autumn as the film was gaining plaudits at film festivals both in the UK and overseas. The film continued to gain a lot of exposure on movie podcasts, television and in the press over the last few months with positive word-of-mouth being fully exploited. A lot of buzz was generated as a result of Colin Firth’s excellent performance as well as the story behind the film itself (the writer of the original stage play suffered a stammer).


As with all modern movie posters nowadays,  the poster wasn’t particularly imaginative but got the main points across – clear photos of the lead actors, strapline and clear typography. The absence of critical endorsements was slightly puzzling as a British historical drama isn’t a money-making guarantee (in comparison to aliens or slap-stick comedy, for example).


There wasn’t a great deal of online promotion. The film’s official website is pretty basic and there wasn’t an official Facebook or Twitter presence to promote the movie. Instead, ‘The King’s Speech’ was promoted through the studio’s page and feeds.


Although not particularly inventive, the film’s trailers demonstrated both the funny and serious aspects of the film and clearly showcases the wonderful performances from all the lead actors. The trailer does its job – sums up the best parts of the movie and builds anticipation on the back of the positive word-of-mouth that has already been generated.

Overall, the marketing campaign for ‘The King’s Speech’ was solid, if unremarkable. However, the campaign successfully raised awareness and made great use of the positive word-of-mouth that followed the film’s earlier showings at film festivals.  Even so, the marketers job was made a lot easier because the product was so good. Marketing is key, and without it the film would have surely floundered. But ‘The King’s Speech’ would not have been the success story it currently is without being a truly great film. Regardless of the promotion and the amount of ‘noise’ created, without great content the attention will only last so long. Good marketing builds interest – but you need a great product to really make it count in the long-term.

This can be applied to anything – blog posts, magazines, theatre or sport. If the content isn’t up to scratch, you’ll be found wanting. You can only blag it for so long!

I would like to say ‘thank you’ to Chris Thilk, who’s blog post on ‘The King’s Speech’ provided inspiration and information for my blog post.


One Response to “Good marketing + great content = success”

  1. Tweets that mention Good marketing + great content = success « Gavin's Blog -- Says:

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Gavin Llewellyn, Gavin Llewellyn. Gavin Llewellyn said: 'The Kings Speech' leads the Oscar nominations – and deservedly so. Good marketing attracted people to a great film […]

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