Business Case Studies, Marketing Strategies / Strategic Marketing Case Study, Mel Gibson's, New Commandments of Movie Marketing

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Case Title:

Mel Gibson's New Commandments of Movie Marketing

Publication Year : 2004

Authors: Kalyani Vemuri & T Phani Madhav

Industry: Entertainment


Case Code: MKS0015

Teaching Note: Available

Structured Assignment: Available

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Mel Gibson's movie, The Passion of the Christ (The Passion) is the eighth highest grossing film of all time. Controversy surrounded the movie much before its release. The movie was criticised for its potential for promoting anti-semitism, excessively violent content, historical accuracy and movie-related merchandising. It was even banned in some countries. However, thanks to Mel Gibson's unconventional marketing strategies, it had one of the biggest openings ever throughout the US and continued its lead for a long time.

Pedagogical Objectives:

  • To discuss the unconventional approach Mel Gibson adopted to market his movie and the grassroots marketing campaign Gibson led to ensure its success
  • To discuss the importance of subject-specific marketing and advertising strategies
  • To discuss the rise in popularity and box office performance of controversy-fuelled movies.

Keywords : Mel Gibson, The Passion of the Christ, Anti-semitism, Movie controversy, Marketing Strategies Case Study, Grassroots marketing, Outreach Incorporated, Newmarket Films, Movie merchandising, Films on religion, Barna Group, Historical accuracy, Fahrenheit 9/11


  • Introduction
  • The passion behind 'The Passion'
  • Controversy – a pr catalyst
  • Grassroots marketing campaign
  • Distribution strategy
  • Merchandising

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