How Amazon Used Secrecy as Their Main Strategy

It finally happened! Amazon’s series based on the Silmarillion Tales went live on September 2nd, and it was…LEGENDARY. While tears of joy are still streaming down our faces at Big Red Dog Marketing and visions of Middle-earth dance in our minds, it is worth a few minutes to outline the EPIC marketing strategy Amazon used surrounding the mythical world.  


A Warrior Elf Named…Carrot 

To say that Amazon used the “dangling carrot” trick to market the series would be an absolute understatement. Secrecy was the primary element of the marketing plan, and it didn’t disappoint in preparing the masses for the most expensive show ever created. With a 1 BILLION dollar price tag, it was easy to see that most of the budget was spent on stunning effects and creating a world like no other. 


A Marketing Plan Even A Dark Lord Can Get Behind

The prequel series took an unconventional marketing approach, keeping many details under wraps until release day. Early promotions for the series focused on a social media campaign where several maps of Middle-earth were released that accurately depicted Tolkien’s world down to the most intricate detail. In January of 2022, an announcement video also released the series title. While no detail was spared in the creation of both the maps and title video, the series was shrouded in mystery due to the lack of concrete information put forth by Amazon’s production team. 


On February 3rd, twenty-three character posters were released with a catch— the posters didn’t show one single face, but rather the hands of the actors clutching an item that provided a clue to the character’s identity. This strategy was used to “fuel fan speculation and discussion” while also building hype around the release of the first teaser trailer during the Super Bowl. These early marketing strategies created a TON of discussion among diehard Tolkien fans, which spread to the general public. No one can deny that Amazon was stoking the fires through online media to engage fans and subscribers. 


Amazon then allowed an “exclusive sneak peek” of the series to Amazon Prime members on July 6th (conveniently six days before Amazon Prime Day) for 48 hours before the release of the second teaser trailer on July 14th. There is no marketing agency in the world that can deny Amazon’s truly epic strategy around the timeline of events and embracing their target audience


While we “common folks” didn’t partake in the Comic-Con meet-and-greet hosted by Amazon between the 21 cast members and some die-hard fans OR experience the full trailer and five clips shared at the experience, the “buzz” created by the event allowed even more positive conversations than any teaser trailer. So, when the final trailer was released in late August, the Second Age was already upon us!! 


A Tale of Myth and Legend

Going forward, there are incredibly high expectations for big-budget fantasy shows, and carefully calculated marketing strategies come with that. Whether utilizing a mythical cloud of secrecy or exhilaratingly large gestures, streaming series need to think outside the box when hyping up their content. 


Want to be like Amazon?

No matter your marketing budget, there are situations when traditional aspects are embraced and other times when thinking “outside the box” is necessary. While most small business owners don’t have a billion-dollar budget to market their product or service, knowing your target audience is one way to make your dollars work for you. 


Big Red Dog is a full-service marketing company based in Raleigh, NC. With clients located across the country, we focus on what your business really needs and understand how to make your company competitive to deliver high-quality results. From website redesign to SEO, we tackle any marketing need to help drive quality traffic to your website, raise conversions that build results and solve those complex problems every business owner faces.


Want to learn more about our team and how we can help your business? Feel free to give us a call at 919-926-8727 or email us at


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