Pixar’s Most Creative Marketing Yet: Monsters University Trailer Site

monsters university IDSummer movie season is well underway, and with it has come the new Pixar film, Monsters University, which was released on June 10. If you haven’t seen Pixar’s Monsters University trailer site that appeared right around college application season, it’s worth a look.

Creating Another World Through Marketing

This brilliant little piece of marketing nails the atmosphere of the film by simulating a real college website. By exploring the Monsters University trailer website, you can find out more about the “college,” including activities, sports, and even how to apply. Just like with any college website front page, the university boasts its assets, talks about the history of the school, shows off a map of campus, and even directs readers to the college store where they can purchase Monsters University mugs, four-armed hoodies, and more.

The university promises that students who attend Excel… in the art of extreme creepiness, and also offers faculty profiles: Care to Scare? Dean Hardscrabble, on the pandemic of weakness in scaring. With these taglines, you not only get a sense of the world Pixar has created within the film, but also some teasers about the plot.

Learning From Pixar

Pixar is a company that’s all about storytelling, and this is a simple takeaway. You want your product to speak to clients by telling a story, adding onto their own life stories, or maybe even changing the way they tell their own stories. Pixar is a company that has, surprisingly enough, a lot of business advice to offer, and all of this advice is centered on the idea of storytelling, just like with the teaser site for the Monsters University film.

When writing films, for example, Pixar story artist Emma Coats believes in the value of writing the end of your story first. In marketing, this translates into considering your end goals, or maybe the happy ending that takes place once a client is united with your product or service.

Coats also advises that creativity is key. If you get stuck, whether in the process of storytelling or strategizing, think about what would never, ever happen next: it may well be just the thing that gets you out of your rut. Similarly, creative strategizing means that it can be valuable to think outside of the box by discounting the first idea that comes to mind in exchange for something a little more interesting – or even the second, third, or fourth idea.

Pixar’s clever marketing strategies work, on kids and adults alike. I know I’ll be seeing Monsters University this summer.

What lessons can your business learn from Pixar’s creative marketing strategy? Can you appeal to more than one audience?

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Tree is a somewhat nomadic graduate student pursuing an MFA in Poetry and Literary Translation from Drew University. A self-identified “diplobrat,” she spent over 16 years living as an expat in countries like Guatemala, Bolivia, and Tanzania. Tree graduated from Smith College in 2012 with a degree in Spanish Language and Literature, a minor in Studio Art, and a concentration in Landscape Studies. In between writing poetry for school and content for CEM, she dabbles in goat herding and freelancing. Other interests include reading, watercolor painting, gardening, and traveling.

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