How FUNimation’s ‘Tease on Titan’ is a Perfect Model for Preparing Audiences for Change

By: David Tile | Founder @
Posted On: April 03, 2014

“What is this?” asks the disgruntled baby genius of the hit TV show, Family Guy. “There’s something wrong with the house,” he says as he notices that a good chunk of his home has been ripped apart. Finally, he fearfully utters a statement that all audiences can relate to, “I don’t like change.” That baby inadvertently brings up a good reason for using a web content writing service.

That’s because according to Murray R. Janewski, this statement is false. Truthfully, people do like change, “Otherwise we would not be so interested in initiating so much change to make things better.” So then why does the consensus seem to be that people don’t like change?  Simple: it’s new, unfamiliar, and pulls you away from what you’ve grown accustomed to. However, as Janewski says, people are, indeed, interested in change. So here are three ways to get your audience prepared for change courtesy of a Japanese anime about giant, naked creatures who stomp through unsuspecting towns and eat human beings.

Let Them Know a Change Is Coming

Surprises can be fun, but only when done correctly. There’s a huge different between, “Happy Birthday, here’s a present you weren’t expecting,” and, “Happy Birthday, I’ve invited Ricky, you know, the one who you haven’t seen in years because he’s a jerk.” Even if the invitation meant well — maybe you and Ricky can talk about that disagreement you had six weeks ago — the surprise is going to be met with negative feedback.

Rosabeth Moss Kanter explains this in the Harvard Business Review. “Decisions imposed on people suddenly, with no time to get used to the idea or prepare for the consequences, are generally resisted.” So the proper way to reveal shocking news to your audience is to do it ahead of time. This gives you a chance to explain why this is important and it gives them a chance to adjust.

Introduce the Change Slowly

Let’s go back to the anime mentioned in the beginning by doing a quick crash course. An anime series typically begins in Japan. If it’s popular enough, it’ll make its way to the U.S. If it’s extremely popular, it’ll be re-recorded in English.  In the case of this giants-eating-people series called “Attack on Titan,” a company called FUNimation is bringing it to the U.S. While it sounds like this should be met with positivity, the truth is anime fans can be really picky when it comes to the English version of a series versus the original Japanese. This is where FUNimation really came through.  Before the English version, they made the Japanese version available on Hulu, Crunchyroll and Netflix, letting fans enjoy the original as it aired in Japan. This gave them plenty of time to focus on the English version while their audience enjoyed the original.

According to an article on the Huffington Post by Hulya Aksu, “The probability of selling to a new customer is 5-20 percent, while selling to an existing customer is 60-70 percent.” Knowing this, FUNimation slowly marketed the series to not startle their existing audience while, at the same time, marketing the series to new, potential fans. The dub first premiered at Anime Boston, an anime convention in Boston, Mass. However, FUNimation didn’t just spring this on its audience; fans were made aware ahead of time that the dub was coming. Not only that, but FUNimation released teaser trailers that let fans listen to the dub before the big premiere. At the same time they were revealing voice actors day after day, but making sure to save the main cast for last to build suspense.

Don’t Completely Abandon the Original

One of the things Kanter talks about in her article is how, with change, everything seems different. While change is indeed meant to bring something different, too much of a difference too quickly can shock your audience negatively. “Wherever possible keep things familiar. Remain focused on the important things,” says Kanter.

This is what FUNimation did.

There was a time in anime American history when more than just voices would be changed. Character names would be changed to fit the American audience and content would be changed if the series was “too adult.” While this doesn’t happen too often anymore, the fear is still there. The only change in “Attack on Titan” is the voices; the content is still the same. But FUNimation has taken it one step further: if someone doesn’t want to watch the anime in English, the DVD and Blu-ray will let them switch to Japanese. This shows that they are still invested in the fans who watched the original Japanese version months ago. Just because a change is coming doesn’t mean that the company forgot the fans who made this series so popular to begin with. When making a change, it’s important to recognize, and appreciate, your original audience. Don’t abandon them in favor of the new; guide them along your new journey and let them adjust to it. Use professional writing services if you want help making the transition.

Otherwise, you’ll be left with an empty, destroyed remnant of what your brand used to be — complete with man-eating titans — and nobody wants that.

The ultimate goal of content marketing is offering your target audience information and materials that will engage them and motivate them to choose your business. 

Seems easy, right? 

Often, companies will simply share general content to please everyone. But let’s be honest: you can’t win them all. And that’s okay! 

Rather than throwing a line and hoping the fish will bite, create Thought Leadership content strategically catered to your target market. Consider the people who would genuinely need or care about what your business offers, rather than wasting time, effort, and resources on creating general, unfocused content. Successful content marketing involves promoting your products and services to the people interested in the subject matter, who will read the content, click on your company website, and take action. 

As an executive of an organization, you are a valuable piece of the brand. Consumers want to know about the human presence leading companies, in order to understand more about the company’s values and goals. 

Take advantage of your position as an industry expert and share extra content to attract more attention to yourself as an industry leader and your company. Your quality content will build your reputation as a reliable voice to earn your consumer’s trust. However, if it’s not focused on your target audience, you won’t earn many conversions from your content. 

Consider these techniques to guide your Thought Leadership content so it can expand and strengthen your loyal consumer following:

  • Identify your target audience by reviewing your current consumer data and identifying who is investing in your business or reacting to your thought leadership materials so far. Look for trends to find why these people are interested and if others like them haven’t been reached yet. 
  • Conduct customer research to learn how they will respond to your thought leadership content. Request participation in surveys, polls, social media comments, and more to learn about your existing impression on your audience and how you can improve your platform. 
  • Create target audience character profiles. Identify their interests, demographics, pain points, needs, and desires, and write to them.
  • Find where your current and potential audience is active online.  Catch their attention by being active and sharing your content marketing materials on these platforms.
  • Pull inspiration from other Thought Leader examples. Research other executives within your field who implement successful content marketing through their personal platforms. Learn what qualities make their content attractive and why readers respond to it positively. These examples can offer a base for you to visualize what you want to achieve. 
  • Recognize your strengths as a Thought Leader. Often, leaders aren’t necessarily aware of the unique talents that give them an advantage in their industry until asked. Reflect on what topics you know best and how to input your insights to humanize your materials, make them original and more engaging for your audience. 


Case Study: How Strategic Content Marketing Can Broaden Your Audience

In our client strategy calls, our team will interview our expert clients to learn about their industry expertise and find out what’s meaningful to them, their business, and then identify who we believe to be their target audience. We use these insights to inspire our content subject matter and tone to create impactful content for their current and potential consumers.

Dr. Desai’s COVID PreCheck App Content Marketing

For example, our client, Dr. Nitin Desai, approached our strategy team to create content to promote his COVID Pre-Check app. His innovative software is intended to help employers ensure their employees who enter the office are COVID-free, providing a safe environment by eliminating the chance of spread. 

Our team of strategists recognized that with Dr. Desai’s thorough professional knowledge around the COVID-19 virus, he had the potential to become a reliable voice in a culture of people seeking answers. We created content for Dr. Desai that focused on sharing COVID-related insights to reach a wider audience, which has been a successful mission. Our thoroughly planned content reflected his industry expertise, which brought him attention from various media outlets and publications, including Forbes

By reaching out to our professional content marketing team, Dr. Desai achieved his goal of promoting his groundbreaking app, while also positioning himself as an authoritative voice in his field. Our team learned about his voice, discovered what was meaningful to him and his target audience, and optimized this to create focused, engaging content that broadened his consumer scope. 

Ready to Invest In Your Thought Leadership Package? 

At, we understand that you have a lot on your plate. Let us share your voice on your behalf, so you don’t need to add more time to your busy schedule to write your own content marketing. Our strategists and creators will develop a plan to create engaging materials to represent your Thought Leader brand through your own specialized Thought Leadership Package

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