Skull Island on Google Maps: An Innovative Marketing Tactic
Have you wanted to visit Narnia but weren’t sure how to get from Mr. Tumnus’ place to the castle? How about which space bus can drop you off at Dagobah so you can chill with Yoda. Well we are not far off from flirting with these notions as Google Maps has now posted the fictitious location for the new movie Kong: Skull Island on its actual maps. Yes, you can now locate a made up place in a real navigation tool.
The partnered venture between Universal Pictures and Google Industries becomes a first for this type of marketing. Blending reality with fiction to promote a movie has been done before but never on this scale. There actually is a Skull Island, two in fact. One of the north coast of Australia and one just off Long Beach in California. Kong’s Skull Island is listed as an archeological site and based on its location along the equator west of South America conjures up the idea of the Galapagos islands where Charles Darwin did his biological research. It’s doubtful to think this recent Kong movie will inspire much educational research. The current trailers make it to be the most action packed Kong film yet. Still there are new creatures that emerge from the hidden jungles and the CGI effects to create them are obviously done with some zoological basis.
When you go to the Google Maps – Skull Island Link https://goo.gl/maps/a1d5YDdZWMz you will notice it is a bare bones setup with no street view or directions. A major mistake since the video was available from the film to take stills from. It would have been nice to do a 360 view, turn and see Sam L. Jackson frowning at you. Yet there are a few reviews already which read quite humorously such as the restaurant review.
The fact that this exists has been making news and promoting a movie that was unleashed unto the public without as much expectation or desire as the last King Kong (2005) film. Stretching the limits of advertising is what makes this exciting. There is an interactive, virtual experience that participates in our real lives despite its hokiness that appeals to our imaginations. It makes the audience double think if they have slipped into a dimensional warp and woken up into Kong universe. Maybe this instance lasts for only a fraction of a second but that possibility is questionable for viewers that want to believe in something.
At the very least this form of marketing creates a buzz that can go viral and stimulates more people to view the movie’s trailer or go to the film’s website just to check it out.