Michelle Runch: an unsung hero behind-the-scenes in ‘Power Rangers’ franchise
In today’s digital age, there is a general uncertainty around the phenomenon of viral video sharing. People often wonder what the next public craze will be or what content the world will latch onto tomorrow. In fact, some say that it is impossible to predict. Others, like Michelle Runch; however, recognize that there are variables that can be strategically controlled in order to significantly increase the likelihood that a video will spread. Though it is not an exact science, it is one that Runch has manipulated effectively for the better part of her career and with her profound ability to accurately capture the interests of her target markets, she has continued to deliver click-worthy content that her audiences cannot resist circulating. With a diverse background in the entertainment industry, she has developed a thorough understanding of the digital realm and her insight into campaigns has proven invaluable on a number of occasions to date.
“It took me a long time to find something that I was truly passionate about. I tried PR, events, and more before I found my place in this industry but I think that it has made me more well-rounded. In addition, I recognize that there is a grand misconception about digital since it is so accessible and since everyone has their own social media accounts. The digital landscape is more robust than ever before and with that, going viral is extraordinarily rare. So, there is a lot of planning, positioning, analytics, and people that go into creating amazing content. I knew that by mastering an understanding of those elements, I could make something of myself as a digital producer,” told Runch.
Several projects, and tens of millions of views later, Runch has established a reputable name for herself amongst her peers in the digital production community. She can be best known, however, through her work on Saban Brands’ Power Rangers movie. The franchise which has since been acquired by Hasbro, has impacted the lives of countless youths all over the world and was an obvious choice for Runch to get involved in.
For the film, Saban Brands partnered with Lionsgate. Knowing that she would be working with like-minded professionals at Lionsgate, Runch was determined to bring only the most elite ideas to the table. Her unique ability to not only generate creative concepts but also strategically plan them out to design go-to marketing campaigns left her in a very desired position. It was imperative that the team behind the production were ahead of the times on all things digital and for this reason, they were eager to work with fresh minds like Runch’s. Her contributions, expertise, and vision in the digital space made her instrumental to the project’s success and to insuring that the overall Power Ranger’s brand was never compromised.
“Working on this was an extremely long process and I made mistakes along the way but I learned and grew from them. Working with such a big studio like Lionsgate was very eye opening. They have a lot of insight and ideas to offer that truly helped me grow. The process of my work was really about designing and developing insights into the audience segments and understanding that demographic before we launched anything. Partnering with the right content creators to extend our reach and leveraging trending verticals was not only a learning experience but a success story,” she said.
Runch’s oversight of concepts and production for all creative assets for the film was critical to driving the success of the campaign. She monitored each component closely to ensure it thrived and addressed any potential obstacles along the way. Her contributions were lucrative not only to the project, but also to the future of her career as it later lead to her involvement in Power Rangers.
Following her successful execution of her work on the Power Rangers movie, Runch was challenged to create out-of-the-box digital content for Power Rangers lovers everywhere. What she decided to do was unlike anything they could have ever predicted. The premise centers around a group of cats dressed as Power Rangers, comedically dubbed by entertaining, lovable voices. The characters’ trajectories closely mimic those of the Power Rangers and audiences absolutely adored the silliness and easy nature of the content.
Knowing how difficult it is to generate content desirable enough to share, Munch knew the importance of capitalizing on internet trends and leveraging the interests of her core audience. By doing exactly that and more, she was astounded to learn that the first episode received over 1 million views within the first 24-hours of its release. It later streamed on other platforms like Facebook and Instagram. It is now identified as the most successful piece of digital video content that the Power Rangers have ever released and holds over 10 million views and counting.
So, how does an aspiring digital content producer land themselves in shoes like Runch’s? Her advice is this:
“My advice to those looking to get into digital producing would be to learn about the analytics - what drives success? Go to conferences, do research. Having that basis will help guide your creative tendencies and help you make informed decisions, rather than simply creating content for content’s sake.”
Written by Sean Desouza
April 5th, 2019