Turner Classic Movies + Cult Branding Company: A Case Study

Cult brands are not just born. 

They are made through strategic vision and passionate execution. 

This truth is vividly illustrated in the journey of the Turner Classic Movies Festival, an event that transformed classic film appreciation into a vibrant, community-driven movement. Today, we explore the remarkable case study of TCM.

The Spark That Ignited a Movement:

It all began with an idea, a seedling that found fertile ground in the collaboration between the Turner Classic Movies (TCM) team and myself. With a seven-person team at the helm, the TCM Festival was more than just an event; it was a revolution in fan engagement, celebrating classic cinema with an enthusiasm that had not been seen before.

Achievements That Defined an Era:

The Annual TCM Festival: Lauded as the pinnacle of fan events, it celebrated the timeless charm of classic films, attracting enthusiasts from around the globe.

TCM Classic Cruise: In partnership with Disney, this endeavor brought fans together for a high-seas adventure, combining the magic of Disney with the nostalgia of classic cinema.

Literary Legacy: Collaborating with Running Press, created over 40 film books, establishing a tangible legacy that aficionados could treasure forever.

Community Building: The TCM Backlot fan club and the TCM Wine Club created unique spaces for fans to connect and share their passion.


“Hi BJ, Well, where do I start? The ideas we worked on with you and your team took off like a rocket ship once we launched the festival. I got to grow a team of 7 people who did the following: produce the annual TCM Festival (best-in-class fan event, if I do say so), produce an annual TCM Classic Cruise (for our last 6 cruises we chartered and partnered with Disney- ultimate fan crossover!), produced a publishing partnership of film books with Running Press (40+ books and counting), launched a fan club, TCM Backlot (sadly a casualty of the pandemic), built a profitable national screening series of classic films with Fathom Events (2015-2022), launched the TCM Wine Club, and partnered with several auction houses to present auctions of entertainment memorabilia. I am so glad to tell you this and what came of the seeds of that work with you so many years ago. Thank you!” 

Genevieve McGillicudy, TCM Vice President of Enterprises and Strategic Partnerships

The TCM case study serves as a beacon, guiding future endeavors to capture consumers’ hearts. It is a testament to the power of vision, community, and the enduring love for classic cinema.

The story of TCM is far from over. 

Its legacy will continue to inspire us at the Cult Branding blog and anyone passionate about cultivating a brand that goes beyond products and services to touch the very hearts of its community.

Previous Post Next Post