Will the niche marketing of “Speed Racer,” hit Asian box office?

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Korean pop idol Rain is expecting a debut in Hollywood in the Wachowski Brothers “Speed Racer,” a live action adaptation of the 1960s Japanese manga series “Mach Go Go”. In the movie, Rain plays the role of rookie racer Taejo Togokhan, who is against the protagonist played by Emile Hirsch.  

According to “movieposteraddict,” filling foreign stars in blockbuster movies has become a common practice to expect success in foreign box office. Rain is popular throughout much of Asia and was on “Times Most Influential 100 list” in 2006 and “People’s Most Beautiful list” in 2007. One expects Rain will draw pre-teen Korean and Japanese girls to the film’s international release.

“Speed Racer,” therefore presents Rain effectively in its marketing targeted to Asian audience. In this character poster released in Korea, Rain in a white outfit is focused alone.  More interestingly, products based on the movie also include Rain with Korean characters, Hangul. “Lego” has released mini figures of the character and Rain’s mini figure has been released, too. The toy marks Rain’s character’s name, Taejo Togokhan in Hangul, which is for the first time that a world renowned toy company has used Korean characters on a toy. “The Hot wheels” will produce die-cast vehicles, track sets and race sets based on the movie, also printing Hangul on the cars.  

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So far, Korean audience to this niche marketing is very positive. The trailer of the movie has already become a bit hit. The toys with Hangul printed on them have also draw big attention and have received good responses. Korean fans show interest in buying the toys before the movie release, May 9, 2008. Although having a foreign star in a blockbuster has been a common rule to expect a success in a foreign market, “Speed Racer” shows more devoted marketing to please foreign audience by producing posters and toys for Asian market. It is expect that the movie’s niche marketing could have a good result in Asian box office.

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