What Jurassic Park Taught Me About Marketing


The scientific principles of Jurassic Park may not have benefited me during my GCSEs, with the bad science providing a poor foundation for trying to scrape a B in biology. The ludicrous premise of dinosaurs being brought back from extinction using fossilised mosquito dinners was easy to ignore as long as we were treated to belting scenes of raptors tearing around an isolated island to the backdrop of John Williams’ best ever score (soz Jaws).

With the latest instalment of the franchise, Jurassic World, released later today and my ticket for the 8pm showing ordered – I can think of little else other than dinosaurs and Goldblum. So rather than staring out the window anticipating a T Rex poking about – I have put together (shoehorned) a list of the things Jurassic Park has taught me about my industry.

Choose Celebrity Endorsements Carefully

Admittedly opening a theme park full of beasts that have been brought back from extinction requires more logistical investment, innovation and dedication than managing a frozen food franchise – but Jurassic Park owner John Hammond could learn a thing or two from Iceland.

Hammond invited respected palaeontologist Dr Alan Grant and paleobotonist Dr Ellie Sattler to review and advocate the park, whilst Iceland just paid Peter Andre a year’s supply of frozen prawns to advertise their wares. Grant and Sattler were unsurprisingly difficult, getting elbow deep in prehistoric poop and refusing to offer a seal of approval, whilst Peter Andre offered to get a tattoo of the Iceland logo if they threw in an extra mint vienetta.

Peter Andre - Richard Pigott

“If I catch you nicking my Birdseye potato waffles one more time…”

This demonstrates the potential for celebrity endorsement but offers a stark warning about the importance of carefully considering the chosen individual.

Perfect the Product

Excited about showing off his new dino pals and pressured by the park’s investors to demonstrate progress – it is hardly surprisingly Hammond opened his doors for sneak previews before the product was 100% ready. However, he should have been stronger and ensured all of the kinks had been worked out of the computer system and all eventual possibilities had been addressed. The oversight that the dinosaurs had been created using DNA from frogs capable of switching sex to continue reproduction is shockingly poor from the founder and CEO of a bioengineering company.

Hammond should have heeded the advice of Nintendo legend, Shigeru Miyamoto, who once advocated the delay of incomplete games, stating “A delayed game is eventually good, but a rushed game is forever bad.”

Jurassic Park - Jayceeloop

If only Hammond had listened, we all (or the rich and fictional of us) could be enjoying summer holidays to Jurassic Park without fear of being decked by a stegosaurus.

Rigorous Recruitment Procedures

With the funds to buy a private island and bring dinosaurs back from the dead, it seems like a massive oversight on the part of Hammond to employ a computer programmer on a paltry wage. Naturally, the underpaid Dennis Nedry revolted when offered more money to compromise the science and security of the park – leading to all kinds of dinosaur misadventures.

This demonstrates the importance of remunerating team members and freelancers according to their importance and value to the project – rather than their aesthetic appeal and charm. A workforce which feels valued is more likely to produce their best work.

Automation is a Poor Substitute for Management

Consider Jurassic Park is your brand’s Twitter account and each of the dinosaurs within is a relevant, snappy and funny tweet. To make the most of these tweets, they have to be controlled and published in a timely fashion by a team capable of understanding audience interaction with social media and techniques to maximise reach and exposure. An automated social media manager cannot complete this task to a requisite standard – releasing the tweets in a potentially damaging (although not loose-dinosaur damaging) manner.

Treat tweets and social media outreach with the same respect that Hammond should have treated his dinosaurs – protecting and delighting the audience in equal measures.

Implement Clear Review Systems

The eggs laid by the dinosaur couples who overcame adversity (an island full of females) came as a huge surprise to Hammond and his team – demonstrating there was no clear review system put in place on the island. Had Hammond survived (thankfully, he didn’t have to see Jurassic Park III), I would have invited him to Banc Media to watch the PPC team here constantly review their accounts and weekly, daily, and hourly trends to react to changes in the marketplace.

Cliff - Dinosaur   

Insufficient review processes led to Kenneth Williams’ DNA being used instead of frogs’

If Jurassic Park had been subjected to the same level of scrutiny, man and beast could co-exist peacefully (albeit the beasts existing for our amusement, but it’s better than nothing).

Images sourced via Flickr Creative Commons. Credit: Richard Pigott, Jayceeloop, Cliff

So, if you’re looking to bring your brand’s marketing back to life and don’t have a supply of frog DNA to fill in the gaps, give Banc Media a call on 0845 459 0558.