October 11, 2013 - 3 comments

Stories Market

When the film Top Gun was released in 1986 it made $8 million opening weekend, and currently sits around $356 million. Considering how big budget films have exploded in the last two decades with movies like Titanic grossing $2.1 billion, or Avatar at $2.7 billion, back in the 80’s, making $300+ million wasn’t too shabby. It’s good enough to put Top Gun at #10 highest grossing film of 1980’s behind films like E.T., Ghost Busters, and Indiana Jones. However, the big wigs in the production companies were not the only ones who pocketed money after Top Gun’s release.

Guess which company saw a 40% increase in sales?

Ray-Ban’s Aviator sunglasses. Ray-Ban was happy: they didn’t have to release any marketing campaigns. Tom Cruise’s Maverick was the only marketing they needed. Cruise put a face on cool. And people bought cool.

The Air Force and Navy saw a massive spike in recruitment to be fighter pilots. It was such a drastic jump, they set up recruiting booths in theaters the movie played in!

Cruise gave people a face they can relate to. The results speak for themselves. Commercials saying, “this is why Ray-Bans are awesome” weren’t necessary to increase sales. All they needed was the right story to sell their product, and the rest is history. 27 years later, people still buy Ray-Bans to be cool like Maverick.

Published by: Ryan Gates in Storytelling