A felt puppet infestation is imminent. Go ahead, laugh. But don’t say we didn’t warn you. In fact, we predicted that the current Muppet tidal wave would be huge several months ago. And thanks to some keen social media marketing and incredible online brand management, the Muppets’ comeback is a full-fledged sensation.
The problem with most Muppet projects released after the death of creator Jim Henson in 1990 is that they lacked that zing and sparkle of the original franchise. Several attempts were made to revitalize our favorite puppets — and even more failed — leaving the brand dormant for many years. But now, all of that is changing, largely because of online marketing.
The Muppets is the straightforward-titled return to the big screen that has prompted major marketing of epic proportions. The film’s Facebook page and its 1 million-plus fan base proves that even though this is a kids movie, The Muppets are not messing around. Peppered with the absurd and silly humor Muppet fans love, the site serves as a portal to everything Muppet mania. But the most clever social media marketing trick here is the Fan-a-thon feature. Fan-a-thon is the type of machine only those wacky puppets could come up with. It sorts all of your Muppet likes (including individual Muppet pages and videos), has a link to special free VIP screenings around the country and an app that allows you tell friends what Muppet you think they look like.
The brand also has those two grumpy curmudgeons in the balcony, Statler and Waldorf, tweeting for them on Twitter. Those hilarious haters are at it again, cracking jokes about Fozzie Bear and tweeting their disdain for the current Muppet invasion. Again, it’s spot-on branding and pitch perfect for older fans of the franchise. You can find more Muppet madness on Google+ and YouTube and, well, basically anywhere you can fit a puppet online. FAO Schwartz is giving fans a chance to make their own Muppets. There’s even a Facebook campaign to get them to host the Oscars!