New Hollywood blockbuster Top Gun: Maverick has generated record success at the box office, earning £79 million on its opening weekend alone. The film sees veteran silver-screen superstar Tom Cruise revive hot-shot fighter pilot Pete ‘Maverick’ Mitchell from the original 1986 film.

It’s obvious that this franchise has captured our attention for the last 36 years, but the baffling question is this… how does an almost laughably bad film from the 80s captivate millions of pounds worth of attention in 2022? 

The original movie is probably one of the least watchable and most cringe-worthy productions to come out of Hollywood studios to date. Despite this, it’s attracted a following of millions worldwide and continues to be globally relevant almost 40 years later. 

We’ve taken valuable time out of our day to consider this vital question. Understanding the factors behind films like Top Gun’s blockbuster success we ask ourselves: can Maverick be the wingman for our content strategy? 

Here’s what we know Top Gun is getting right…

Everyone loves an underdog

Pete’s character in the film perfectly encapsulates the loveable rogue profile; rejecting authority with an overzealous attitude and implementing risky tactics to put him ahead of the competition. Being relatable is everything. 

We love Maverick’s character because he’s fighting the norms to stand out; he embodies the time old American dream of success earned by merit, hard work and ingenuity. 

Chances are your success story isn’t too dissimilar. So wouldn’t it be a great tactic to share this with your customers? Let them know your back story and you’ll gain a loyal following base in no time. 

  • Great soundtrack

Fighter jet-inspired anthem “Danger Zone” by Kenny Loggins meets touching power-ballad “Take My Breath Away” from Berlin. Two iconic hits that spawned directly from the franchise have certainly helped to bolster the film’s popularity. 

This clever tactic shows that using a collaborative approach is key to really hooking in an audience. The film teamed up with some serious musical talent to create a full entertainment package, delighting its audience with iconic bangers and chart-topping tunes along the way. 

To implement this technique in your own strategy, it might be worth considering a collaboration with another business you know will please your customers, wowing your audience by offering them a full package – “you can be my wingman anytime”. 

  • Simple story

The plot of Top Gun is an easy one to follow – hotshot fighter pilot Maverick (Tom Cruise) enrols in US Navy’s elite pilot school, competing to be best in the class and win the prestigious Top Gun trophy. Along with a pinch of high octane action scenes, hot-under-the-collar romance and eye-winking cheesy quotes, this is essentially the entire film in a nutshell. 

So, what can we learn from this? Keeping it simple keeps it memorable, allowing you to communicate ideas more powerfully than a more complex message. This is because your meaning isn’t diluted with a jumble of other ideas and your audience knows your intention and purpose immediately. 

  • “No points for second place”

The competition between Maverick and Iceman is devilishly fierce. Both characters are outrageously cocky and both think they’re the best pilot in the navy. The magnetic energy between these two is central to the whole film – so, what can we learn from it? 

Just like Top Gun, there are no points for second page in SEO. Ranking is crucial to your organic traffic as 90% of all online customers don’t visit websites ranking past the first page. Come up with an effective SEO strategy to get yourself on page 1 – those ROIs will flow naturally back to you as organic traffic increases. 

  • The need for speed

“I feel the need….the need for speed!” – somehow this corn-ball, slap-dash line was key to the success of this film, engraining itself as a staple pop culture reference for decades to come. 

But! The point in question, “need for speed” is indeed the cornerstone of relevancy. Staying ahead of trending topics, from movie premiers to what’s going on in the headlines, is always going to benefit your strategy. This tactic will keep you fresh and entice your audience to engage with topics that everyone wants to hear more about, creating shareable, newsworthy and interesting content that gets you noticed. 


If you need a wingman for your content strategy, we’ve got you covered; get in touch with the It Works Team today!