Cosplay to Get Your Marketing Message Heard



Good morning everyone! It's another Happy Monday! This week I wanted to share something with you that I love to do on my spare time that really brings out my creativity and inspiration. Hopefully these can help your creative spark this week.


Cosplay Modeling & Photography

I have been into Cosplay for years now and many people thought it was a "childish" thing to do, but now it's becoming such a hot trend that my email explodes everyday with more and more questions on how to implement this into a marketing plan or how to use it to get your message out to a target market.


But before we get into all that good stuff, here are a few of my cosplay photoshoots to get you inspired.



For more inspiration and sneak peeks, feel free to view more of my photos from my Flickr Gallery.


WHAT IS COSPLAY?


So before I jump into using cosplay for marketing, let's back up a bit because this topic has a lot more to it than Step 1 and Step 2. If you don't do this the right way, it can backfire on you and it can defeat the purpose of your message, so let me inspire you!



Cosplay is the practice of being "in-character" to represent another from a movie, book, or video game, or one from the Japanese genres of manga and anime. It is more than a fandom, more than a child's fantasy, and more than dressing up for Halloween. Cosplay is a way of life. It is the inner soul of a person that has connected to something so valued and so emotionally bonded that they love so very deeply. When you can cosplay as such, you have mastered the art of a character's being and when you are a cosplay fan, you place trust and confidence in that cosplayer that is truly a personal outreach.


Isn't that how we want to engage our audience on THAT level of trust? And that is why Cosplay can be such an inspirational addition to your message.



THE BENEFITS OF COSPLAY FOR MARKETING


Cosplay brings a whole new game to the playing field. Whether you're message is for/about kids, families, adults, or pets, you will turn heads using inspirational characters and objects. Bringing Cosplayers into your marketing message shows the audience you are on their level of understanding, and can be trusted as someone with the same valued interests, not just an advertiser. Cosplay can be used at home with your kids for fun, at work to teach lessons, and at school to inspire STEAM education and careers. There is an abundance of opportunities with cosplay!


But let's go over a few things to keep in mind before you start brainstorming.


Expand Your Imagination.

Too many times Marvel and Disney characters are overrated. Yes, they are popular and well loved, but people want originality. For instance, if you're target market is teens, then try Anime or Video Game characters. For adults, try popular book characters or characters from their childhood tv shows like Star Trek. Focus on what your audience is passionate about and find a chracter, book, movie, anime or cartoon they can relate to.


Don't limit your creativity to trending characters. When you open up the floor to a variety of interests, then you expand your market even further and your creativity has a larger canvas.




Research The Characters That Will Compliment Your Audience, and Hire Cosplayers

Do not go into this industry with a blindfold over your face (unless you're cosplaying Satoru Gojo, the main protagonists of the Jujutsu Kaisen anime series above). Cosplay can be a very tough community to win trust from and the fan base can be harsh and vicious if you do not understand it. This is what I meant earlier when I said it can backfire on you. Cosplay is all about creativity and imagination, so don't think putting a mascot in front of the audience and calling it "cosplay" will be enough. Find a character that your audience can relate to. This part you should already know or at least be in the process of discovering. One of the best ways to make this correlation is to send out a poll or find out what your audience is reading, watching, playing, etc.

Start Cosplaying & Get Involved!

There is no better way to understand the market than to get into Cosplay yourself. I have given several workshops on beginning cosplay and you can find great articles from my LinkedIn or my website. But for Monday's sake, let's make this simple: Start with a character you love. Rewatch the movies or re-read the books. Examine the character. Research the movements. Pinpoint the colors. Study the details. BE THE CHARACTER!




Another great way to get into character is to surround yourself with cosplayers and creative thinkers. Above is a photo of me with two great friends of mine who also cosplay. The Steampunked Batman is actually an architectural designer with a Masters in Stage Design and he won First Place in New York City ComiCon 2020. When you connect with like-minded cosplayers, you open yourself up to some great advice and amazing ideas!


After you have that first part down, then we can get into the creative aspects of designing, but that's a totally new article I'll get to later on. In the meantime, your creative assignment for this week is to find your favorite character (movie, book, anime, cartoon) and study them, remind yourself why you loved that character, and go back to your roots of imagination.

I hope I helped you find a little spark of imagination and creativity for this week. Please comment and like below so I know you want me to continue writing and sharing these stories.


And if you would like me to come speak to your ogranization about cosplay, contact me to book a speaking date and time.

Have a safe and happy week everyone!

👍🏼 Kat Mahoney (Katbrat)

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