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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Every Square Inch October 5, 2009 at 7:12 PM  

You are what you watch? I like your observations...the one most intriguing is that the context exist outside of our world... could it be that we're hoping to escape the perception of a fallen world filled with injustice and sin, even for just a couple of hours?

Sam Van Eman October 6, 2009 at 2:55 PM  

Either it's escape or it's hope. Perhaps both? Escape is usually viewed as negative - a coping mechanism. But hope, on the other hand, is a good thing.

It's a great question, ESI, especially since the antidote to idolatry is going hungry. Yet, these are movies. Some folks may choose not to watch this one or that one, but I have difficulty seeing them as idols for the most part.

In fact, I'm encouraged if people watch them in hopeful ways. Feel free to push back on this.

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