Tommy Wiseau is the producer, writer, director and lead actor in a “the best worst movie” in the world – The Room. Recently Wiseau was also the subject of the book The Disaster Artist which was made into a movie by James Franco, in which Franco played Wiseau and won a Golden Globe for the best actor. Wiseau is known for his “strange” focus on his brand and promotion, and his gradual global popularity is not an accident but a product of 15 years of dedication.
Here are 3 marketing lessons we can learn from Tommy Wiseau:
1) Give customers what they want
Wiseau did not make The Room planning to make “the best worst movie” or a cult movie. However, when The Room started to take this direction he understood it and embraced it, he did not fight it. He listened to what his customers wanted and dedicated himself to their needs. If he did not embrace the change he would have lost relevance. By working for his audience and customers he made a negative image into a powerful positive one.
2) Brand is more than a product
He understood that people like The Room because it represents an attempt to achieve something bigger in ones life. The Room brand included not only the film but Wiseau, his co-stars, the book, James Franco’s movie, and everything else that emerged in The Room universe. His focus was not only on the film but on the whole experience surrounding the film. Even his merchandise fits in strangely but perfectly in this ridiculous universe.
3) Never gave up
Wiseau is known to have rented a Hollywood billboard for 5 years to promote The Room. He never stopped investing in promotion with out-of-home, events, digital, etc, while word of mouth kept growing on its own. The Room was a failure at the start but slowly started picking up. In some 15 years it reached a never expecting height and might even continue to grow. All of this is due to Wiseau’s dedication.