The Harry Potter Phenomenon

The Harry Potter franchise has generated billions of dollars. Seven books, eight films, a theme park, and other merchandise has made various industries very happy. Bookstores and movie theaters held midnight parties when either a Potter book or film was released. people lined up hours ahead of time to get tickets to the midnight showing of the latest film. How has a children’s story managed to capture the world? For one, Harry Potter is not like many other stories. The people behind the brand have managed to create an entire universe, or “Potterverse,” in which people can become lost.

   I plan to study why a cultural obsession has formed around the Harry Potter brand. Using Baudrillard ‘s idea of hyperreality, I would like to try to show that people enjoy Harry Potter so much because it allows them to escape their own dull realities. For many fans, the Potterverse is alive, and many prefer Harry’s universe  over their own. Fans can now immerse themselves completely in Harry’s world thanks to Universal Studios’ “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.”

Other than the fact that the first Harry Potter emerged at a time in which there was little competition for it (children’s fantasy novels were not popular by any means), the marketing strategies also contributed to its success. Harry Potter was advertised through word of mouth and was a story that kept people wanting more. Because the books had so much detail, it was rather easy to recreate Harry’s world on the big screen. The immense popularity of both the books and the films led to the creation of theme parks and online communities that allowed people to escape their own realities and become part of the Potterverse.

Why is Harry Potter so popular?

What do you find interesting about the Harry Potter phenomenon?

Do you think the brand was advertised differently than other franchises, such as Lord of the Rings?

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One comment

  1. Farida

    Harry Potter was part of my life since the 6th grade. I watched the first movie with my sister and then went on to read the book in class. Since then I became a potter fan. Going to midnight viewings and joining the festivities at Barnes and Noble for the book releases. It was consuming. A world that only a set amount of people joined, although it seemed like everyone. People who read Harry Potter had a special connection as the geeks that we were. Yet, I have never been to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. I feel like sadly I’ve grown out of my Harry Potter obsession. I think that Harry Potter meant so much because it was a language easily understood. It created this world were it made sense that someone didn’t fit in to reality because there was a whole other world were they would be superior. For a teen figuring out who I am, and struggling for popularity it gave us power. Harry Potter also grew up with me. As he transitioned and became more mature so did I.

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