Marketing Strategies Used in the Film The Harder They Fall

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The Film "The Harder They Fall"

The film “The Harder They Fall” was directed by Mark Robson and was produced in 1956 (Robson et al., 1956). The movie was about boxing and how corruption (match-fixing) has taken over this sporting activity. A sports-writer Eddie Willis agreed on a deal from a crooked boxing commission promoter known as Nick Benko to publicize Toro Moreno, who is an unknown heavyweight boxer (Grindon, 2007). Moreno is subjected to several matches and he ends up winning all these series of matches to get a chance to participate in the world heavyweight championship match with Brannen (Grindon, 2007).

Marketing and Promotion in the Film

All these series of matches Toro Moreno won were fixed because his manager Benko bought Moreno’s opponents. From the film, the aspect of marketing and promotion is visible, especially on Toro Moreno. The use of media and events was used to publicize Toro Moreno before the boxing fans and make him look as a potential threat to the holder of the heavyweight championship. The paper discusses these promotional and marketing aspects that are portrayed in the film.

Mass Media Marketing

One marketing strategy that has been portrayed in the film is mass media marketing. Mass media marketing refers to the use of mass media platforms to promote a product or service (Gillespie & Riddle, 2015). Mass media marketing involves the use of radio stations, newspapers, television stations and other forms of media platforms. In this film, Benko contacts Eddie Willis to use his newspaper media platform to promote Toro Moreno. During those times, newspapers were commonly used by many people and thus it was strategic enough for Benko to use the newspaper. Besides, Benko took advantage of the popularity of Eddie Willis and used it for public relation marketing.

Article Marketing and Promotion

Most of the effective marketers tend to work closely with the media to create awareness for their products and services they are offering (Gillespie & Riddle, 2015). Benko has used this strategy effectively by associating Moreno and Eddie’s publicity. Eddie used his publicity effectively to his followers to create fame for Moreno to the boxing fans. Furthermore, article marketing and promotion is the other strategy used in the film. Nick Benko noticed the popularity of Eddie’s articles on sports and used that to promote Toro Moreno. Eddie had a section in of one of newspaper daily where he used to write articles on sports and this garnered many readers. Nick decided to use Eddie Willis’ article to promote the boxing skills and talent of Toro Moreno.

Event Marketing

Event marketing has also been portrayed in the film. Event marketing is the process of developing a themes presentation, display, or exhibit to promote a product or service (Gillespie & Riddle, 2015). From the film, we realize that Moreno is involved in a series of matches which he used to promote and market himself. Moreno used these matches to display his talents to the boxing world and thus began to receive support from many people. Toro Moreno used these matches to build a relationship with the boxing fans, generate goodwill and earn trust from the fans. Normally, events provide an extraordinary opportunity for clients to interact with brands to get obtain the primary sense of a company’s focus, perspective as well as personality. Winning these matches also enabled him to earn trust from his fans.

Online Marketing and Social Media Marketing

The intention of Benko fixing the matches to let Moreno win was to create a powerful and lasting impression to fans of what Benko was capable of doing in the ring. This allowed Moreno to interact with people and that way created a positive attitude with Moreno which later on implied he would receive more support and sponsorship because he was now a brand. Even marketing also helps in creating exposure to a brand, product or services (Gillespie & Riddle, 2015). Moreno had little exposure and that did not allow him to get enough exposure he needed to become a world heavyweight championship contender. Through this exposure, Moreno would obtain unparalleled boxing fans engagement and a chance for positive interaction that creates and builds loyalty.

One aspect I would have done was to conduct the online marketing strategy and particularly social media marketing. The social media platforms are presently common and carrying out promotional activities in such platforms would allow one to reach several people (Gillespie & Riddle, 2015). The social media platforms include Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp, and Youtube. Compared to the strategies used in the film, social media promotion strategy are less expensive and quick. Assuming am Benko, I would create contents that demonstrate the prowess and talents of Moreno and share them on the social media platforms. Social media marketing allows interaction with clients from all over the world as they are not localized compared to the strategies used in the film. In this way, Moreno would be able to create a worldwide fan base. Besides, the social media would allow Moreno to have a direct interaction with his fans through his social media contacts and this would enable him to earn loyalty.


The movie depicts the traditional marketing strategies. These strategies include print media marketing, PR marketing, and event marketing strategies. In those olden day when the film “The Harder They Fall” such strategies worked and it attracted so many people. However, when compared to one current marketing strategy, social media marketing, it is clear social media marketing is superior. This modern strategy allows one to connect to people worldwide and it is cheaper compared to the traditional strategies. Following the comparison, it clear marketing and promotional aspects are dynamic and that the modern marketing strategies are quick, cheap and simpler to use.



Gillespie, K., & Riddle, L. (2015). Global marketing. Routledge.

Grindon, L. (2007). The boxing film and genre theory. Quarterly Review of Film and Video, 24(5), 403-410.

Robson, M., Yordan, P., Schulberg, B., Bogart, H., Steiger, R., Sterling, J., & Lane, M. (1956). The harder they fall. Skífan.

September 18, 2023


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