Marketing Idea No. 127 – The Marketing power of “Remakes”

Here’s a formula that stands the test of time. 

  1. Pick a old, famous film / song / drama
  2. Remake it by adding a contemporary touch by throwing in new age tunes / remix / actors of this generation
  3. Attract the oldies who watch it for nostalgic value and attract the new generation who watch it because they heard so much about it in the past but never had the privilege of seeing it

Call it the last choice of the brainless marketers. Call it a fake, pretentious effort to lure new customers without really doing something new. But the truth is – remakes work. 

Celine Dione shot into stardom by singing the Air Supply Song “Power of Love” in the 90s. Everyday in India, one “Old is Gold” song is remixed into a new format and hiting the Top Chart. 70s hit TV shows like “Mission Impossible” and “Charlie’s Angels” got en explosive new look remake in the form of the 5 movies in the early part of this millennium – all of which earned in excess of 100 million USD in US market alone. 

For all its success in international arena, we are highly disinclined to use “remakes” in this country, be it in media or in corporate arena.  And here are how we are missing out in benefits 

  1. We have grown up watching excellent TV dramas and movies in the channels, all of which now rest in our memory only. Who can forget the fantastic “Ey Shob Din Ratry” or “Ora 11 jon”? In this age of media explosion, where Talk Shows, cheap melodramatic movies and clichéd dramas are the only shows available, why cant we remake some of this excellent productions?
  2. Brands, products & ad campaigns have died and awaiting re-birth. Like fashion, that comes in circle, these brands can enjoy a new birth. In the late 80s ADIDAS went bankrupt. Look where its now, due to a rejuvenated marketing campaign. Hush Puppies were a thing of the past. Now, they are adorning the feet of the rich and famous. Just like that, our Tibet snow, Halal soap, Jibon Bima Corporation, Joni print saree, Peps-Gel….all of them can have a re-birth.

The main reason why remakes work is that it already has a built-in equity. We loved the good old days, and we want them desperately to come back. And also, because the old movies / songs are already watched by our predecessors, they do the job of spreading the word out. And we just wait in anticipation what made them tick.

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