Jurassic Park: A brand back from extinction?

By Simon Frost

Jurassic World and the Jurassic Park brand equity

“Has it been 22 years already?” was the question that sprung into my mind as I was recently watching the, frankly amazing, trailer for producer Stephen Spielberg’s upcoming dinosaur extravaganza — Jurassic World, sequel to the Jurassic Park movies.

As a child I was something of a fan of the original Jurassic Park, if indeed one can be considered merely a fan — and not simply obsessed — after seeing a movie 5 times within its first month of theatrical release.

Indeed, everything about the film captivated me. To my young mind it was the perfect blend of exposition and action. The impeccably paced plot, the sweeping cinematography, and the soaring score were all marshaled by Spielberg into a celebration of cinematic perfection that, for me, was infused from start to finish with hope, joy and, above all, excitement.

Jurassic Park’s brand equity

The original Jurassic Park created such a strong reaction in me that I have never forgotten it. And, I know I am not alone in this among our Siegel+Gale cohort (I’m looking at you Elspeth and Nick!). Indeed my devotion to this film, and to all its surrounding merchandise, was so strong that for at least a short time in the early 1990s it was, without a doubt, my favorite brand.

However, it was also my love for Jurassic Park that caused me to spend so long away from it. After a number of broken promises the brand lost my trust and the repeated betrayals became just too much to take. I refer of course, to the lackluster The Lost World and the reprehensible Jurassic Park III.

In essence, the original movie set the bar high. And, the high bar became the implied promise for the rest of the franchise. As with any brand, once a promise has been made, the audience — quite understandably — develops certain expectations. And, when a brand fails to live up to these expectations, be it through sub-par products, services, or even experiences (in this case, the movies themselves), the implications for brand equity can be disastrous.

The upcoming Jurassic World sequel represents a significant opportunity for the Jurassic Park brand to rekindle the magic of the original movie, to win back its estranged following and to introduce a whole new generation to its unmistakable and intoxicating strain of fantasy. I, for one, hope that it achieves this and am looking forward to being at the Sherman Oaks Arclight on June 12 to — hopefully — witness the rebirth of a legend.

Simon Frost is a strategist with Siegel+Gale. Follow him on Twitter: @SimonFrost19

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