The Wonderful Online World of Harry Potter
I have followed Harry Potter faithfully since the beginning. Ever since I picked up the first book, I’ve been sucked into the comings and goings of wizards and witches at Hogwarts. With the advancement of technology and the passing of time, the Harry Potter world has grown to include seven books, eight movies, a theme park, an online world soon to be released, and an overwhelmingly large fan base.
With the release of the last movie in theaters today, a large chunk of the needless advertising is being done online on social media sites. With a movie like this, all advertising does is add to the excitement. Fans do the rest.
That said, the Pottermore announcement was done entirely online.
In case you live under an anti-Harry Potter rock and didn’t know of the Pottermore announcement, let me sum up.
“Pottermore is an exciting new website from J.K. Rowling that can be enjoyed alongside the Harry Potter books. You can explore the stories like never before and discover exclusive new writing from the author. It is FREE to join and use, and is designed to be safe for people of all ages.”
Basically, J.K. Rowling is releasing her seven-part series in e-book format for the first time. But instead of just an e-book, she is creating a visual world where the viewer can follow the story as it happens. Consider it a mix between a video game, book, and movie-all in one.
The Marketing Genius
The way in which this announcement was made is extremely unique. It started with a short comment on ten different Harry Potter fan sites. Within each of these posts was a set of coordinates that the fan then took to Rowling’s website to plug into her special version of Google Maps. To make a long story short, each coordinate equated to a letter that eventually spelled out POTTERMORE.
From there, it went to Twitter. As fans discovered the word, they swarmed to follow @pottermore who had only released one tweet. Viewers waited with bated breath to find out what Pottermore was until, low and behold, another tweet was sent that linked to Jo’s Youtube account! The world watched for a week as a clock ticked down to the announcement of what Pottermore was. This video was shown on the Pottermore website as well as on Youtube.
Immediately following the release of the video, the Pottermore website crashed for about four hours due to the sheer influx of people seeking more information. As the hype started dying down, the website released a preview. And then another. And then another. With little to no information regarding what Pottermore is going to look like, you have to keep the fans interested somehow.
However, it has proven easy to conclude that the fans are indeed becoming and staying interested. Here is some quantitative Harry Potter trivia that allows for better understanding of the scope of the mania that has touched upon the world.
Stats about Interested Fans:
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 shattered the record for the highest grossing midnight movie. With a record breaking $43.5 million dollars made, it beat out The Twilight Saga: Eclipse which made $30 million from its’ midnight shows.
- The same movie has made $126 million worldwide. In two days.
- @pottermore has tweeted 13 times in the last month and has 172,460 followers.
- J.K. Rowling’s Youtube channel has been viewed 5,109,468 times in the last month.
- If you want to get down to the nitty gritty, Harry Potter characters are five of the nine trending topics worldwide currently on Twitter.
- Random Harry Potter fact: Michael Jackson approached Rowling to make a musical from the Potter series.
Pottermore opens to a select group of fans on July 31st and to the world in October. I don’t know about you, but I will be up at midnight on July 31st, eagerly awaiting the next announcement. Who knows what it’ll cover – but I’ll be there.
For a website that was released entirely by online means, I’d say Pottermore was a huge success.
Networking the SMC Dallas Way
Last night I experienced my very first social networking night through the Social Media Club of Dallas. Though I didn’t do as much networking as originally expected, I learned loads.
I first arrived (incredibly overdressed, mind) and stood in line awkwardly trying not to step on anyone’s toes…literally. After receiving my name badge, drink ticket, and free book (Content Rules by C.C. Chapman) I shuffled off to the side and stood in my comfortable circle of friends. Was I supposed to just walk up to people and introduce myself? Was I supposed to wait for them to come to me? I did neither. I found a chair, sat down, and started skimming through my new book. Rather fascinated, I looked up and discovered everyone was being herded into a theater. Oh, okay!
I followed the crowd and took my seat. Cell phones popped out all around me immediately. I confidently thought of my already-silenced cell phone in my purse and smiled smugly. It wasn’t until Mike Merrill got up to introduce the speaker that I realized people didn’t have their phones out just to silence them. (No one has ever accused me of being speedy-smart.)
Social Media Club is a learning experience. For a senior in college who has never been to one, I truly had no idea what to expect. What I got was so unforeseen that I’m still reeling about it a day later. Throughout the entire course of Chapman’s speech, people were tweeting with the hashtag #smcdallas. Sure, I listened and learned from C.C. but I networked on Twitter.
During the course of the evening, I had delightful discussions with other advertising students who were at the event. I talked to a professor at SMU about how he requires students to tweet in class as part of their grade. (I even tried to convince him to give me a full ride scholarship so I could be in his class. Still working on that bit…) I was retweeted numerous times. It’s a great feeling, knowing that people are actually reacting and responding to what you are saying.
So sure, I went to Social Media Club to meet people. But at the same time, everyone I met, I met via Twitter. When I woke up this morning I had 12 new followers and five people mention me in their Follow Fridays.
Social media surely has progressed over the course of the last decade. I never thought my best self-marketing tool would be found on a website such as Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn. It certainly makes you think about what you should and shouldn’t be posting online.