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Marketing for Muggles: Harry Potter and the Retro Revolution

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Retro is everywhere these days. The cinemas are chock-ablock with remakes, sequels and prequels. The music industry is retro a-go-go. The anti-capitalist protests in Seattle are '68 all over again. Retro diseases, from foot-andmouth to tuberculosis, stalk the green, unpleasant land. Retro autos, retro bistros, retro discos, retro metros, retro rodeos, retro videos, retro locos, retro logos, retro potatoes, retro tomatoes, retro Rolos, retro Polos, retro Cheerios, Retro Oreos, retro CEOs and retro superheroes, such as Harry Potter, are all around. This paper examines the Harry Potter phenomenon and argues that, just as the practice of marketing is becoming increasingly retro orientated, so too the principles of marketing are in need of a retrofit operation. A retromarketing concept is called for and the wonderful wizard of Hogwarts – the Tom Brown of our time – holds the key to the chamber of marketing secrets. Dare we ask? Dare we enter? Dare we dare?

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: June 1, 2001

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