Marketing Content – When “intensely original” Sells

The first time I saw this movie trailer I was hooked. The New York Times says, “‘Where the Wild Things Are’ is intensely original and haunting….”

First, I think we all envy the writers and producers who will ride high on this. I’d love nothing more than to create a work described as “intensely original” and poised to suck in paying customers like a vacuum. And in mainstream… anything, “intensely original” is rare. From a very short child’s book– in which each page has about 5 words on it–has come a major movie that is no child’s play–it’s about marketing and money as much as it is about humanness. In a different time in history, this movie might have been laughed at—maybe. But it can’t lose today or tomorrow or likely anytime this year.

Marketing-wise the trailer alone presses on everyone’s emotions– fear, love, hope, grief…you name them. It’s a sales MAGNET. Today we are more scared than we were a few years ago, less cocksure, more jaded, and if the driving on the road is any indicator–we’re mad as hell and we’re chugging Starbucks espresso-laced coffees. Hot buttons are exposed.

  • “Major banking corporations post massive losses”
  • “Swine flu fuels Armageddon fears”
  • “Profits tumble…”
  • “Suicide bomber kills hundreds in an open marketplace”
  • “Terror plot foiled in the nick of time”
  • “Human trafficking business skyrockets in Small Town America”
  • “Drought amplies worry about human survival”
  • “Unemployment worsens overnight, deepens fears…”
  • “In the coming economic meltdown only those with ‘Road Warrior’ mettle will survive”
  • “HIDE! Take cover while you can…”

(btw, only one or two of those are “ripped from the real world headlines”…)

We have more skin in the game than ever before.

Are things about to get better? Asks Gary Halbert in his legendary, “How to keep your money from being MURDERED!” letter.

No way, he says.

It’s time to market…but cut yourself a fresh path.

Where Automation and Facsimile Lead Us, even in online content

We are hell-bent to automate as much of our businesses and our lives as possible. Just from my perspective as an online writer the sponsored ads for “automatic” content production are amazing. Really. did you know there’s some bit of software that proposes to create instant sales letters, instant landing pages and more? And I’m not suggesting these so-called products produce amazing results. My point is as a species we continue to see success and profit in our attempts at large-scale automation and facsimile with little regard for historical record on similar maniacal maneuvers.

In today’s white-knuckle marketplace, less appreciation is accorded “intensely original” UNTIL it snatches everyone’s wallets from their pockets.

Take a short spin through Twitter, for instance: zillions of “get rich quick” marketers, another zillion “‘millionaire’ business coaches,” and a stupid gaggle of retweeted famous quotes. My email spam folder is absurdly crammed with scams from “Nigerian” banks, MLM schemers, and a dozen other old-news reinventions of crapola-designed-to-screw-you-and-leave-you-curled-up-like-a-scared-child-sobbing-in-a-dark-corner…

Automation:

In the scope of industrialization, automation is a step beyond mechanization. Whereas mechanization provided human operators with machinery to assist them with the muscular requirements of work, automation greatly reduces the need for human sensory and mental requirements… (Wikipedia)

“reduces the need for mental requirements…” hmmmm.

I’m no historian, but some have highlighted very distinct and alarming similarities between our current situation in time with that leading up to the Great Depression– an era that included rapid automation of everything from agriculture to craft-work. And other recent media sources have pointed backwards to where in July 1979–another notable recession– former President Jimmy Carter went on TV with his now famous “malaise” speech– or “Crisis of Confidence.” Reaction? Harsh and whip-like. Now? Resonates with the current economic and human crisis. In fact, Carter’s speech–30 years later- finally gets this, “‘This particular speech…was unlike anything any president ever said…. In this particular speech, he was sort of a prophet. He spoke as a prophet. And I mean by that not as someone who’s predicting the future, but as someone who’s diagnosing the national soul.” (Noemi Emery: In praise of Malaise)

Make no mistake, Where the Wild Things Are is intensely original, but this flick is also about making money in the right place at the right time (“Spending money is serious business,” said Claude Hopkins). Whole families and adults across the country are sure to cram movie theaters starting tonight with wallets wide open and spewing a small fortune in ticket sales, sodas and sweets. Why?

Intensely original….Relief.

Cultivate a personality peculiar to yourself.  Make that distinction, if you can,
point in the right direction.  But better a wrong direction—in degree—than similarity. (Lord and Thomas advertising company)

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