Top 10 movies: Marketing success or human nature?

It’s a Wonderful Life, 12 Angry Men, The Green Mile, Gattaca. These are a few of the movies on my Top 10 list. Bring together a compelling story, redemption, fine acting and a smart script, and I’m hooked.

What we watch says a lot about what matters to us. Show me your Top 10, and I bet I can make a few accurate assumptions about what you value...

This excerpt comes from an article I wrote for last week. If you have four or five minutes, go and read "Culture Corner: Top 10 Reasons to Hope." You'll see the Top 10 Worldwide Box Office movies from 1999-2008, and you'll have to consider why these particular films made it to the top.

At least I had to. For you folks interested in advertising, I'll also note that this list made me consider the relationship between advertising and human need. Advertising creates awareness, encourages participation, dispenses information and influences consumer expectations. But, as I've said before, it can't create needs. You may disagree with me on this point, but I believe advertising can only borrow from what already exists.

If this is true, what already exists in us for these films to work? What do consumers need that these movies address? If there really is something to address, how much influence does advertising have in turning them into global hits?

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The High Calling is a site about work and God.


Lovenote to Snuggie Blanket

I recently posted on Snuggie Blankets and learned helplessness, but my eye-rolling has had little to no effect. It seems that the world has fallen in love. This morning I came across a creative bit of earned media for Snuggie Blankets at Sharon writes:

Dear Snuggie,

I’ll never forget the first time my eyes met yours. I was sitting at home on the couch, cold and lonely, in a dead-end relationship with yet another blanket....
Read the rest of it here.


Basing the future on a college slogan

According to the Higher Education Research Institute's Freshmen Survey, the top three reasons students give for attending college are:

1. To "learn about things that interest me."
2. To get a better job.
3. To be able to make more money.

If these are true, then it follows that students try to pick schools that help them achieve these (ahem*self-serving*cough) goals. The marketing question I'm curious about is, How much influence does an institution's slogan have on the decision process? Does a prospective student, fence-riding between colleges, read slogans like the following and make their decision?

"Your revolution starts here."

"Minds in the making."

"Grasp the forces driving the change."

"Where you're a name, not a number."

I don't remember my college's slogan, or if it had one, though if it did I suppose it could have played a small role in my decision. No idea. But if the topic of writing good college slogans interests you, check out this humorous article by copy-writer and teacher, George Felton (That's his book cover), and the Columbus Society of Communicating Arts from which the article came.


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