I’ve seen the movie Beetlejuice a couple of dozen times.
Like the rest of my collection of favourite films, I had it on Betamax, then bought it on VHS when I moved to Canada, then again on DVD, and now, hopefully finally, it is in my iTunes library. Every single time I see it, I will the dog not to jump off the plank in the bridge scene. But, of course, every time he does, sending Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis to a watery grave, consigning them to their new “life” as ghosts.
Of course, I know the screenplay isn’t going to change, and yet every time time I see it, a small part of me is praying they will survive. Does that make me insane? I don’t think so, it makes me human and emotional. And those emotions don’t cost me anything or do anybody any harm.
Unfortunately, the same thing happens way too many times in marketing meetings, and it does cost something and it does do a lot of harm. Clients, and a frightening number of their ad agencies, recommend the tried and the comfortable. The BOGO, the “our prices are insane” discount, the gift with purchase-all for the almighty temporary spike in sales. If only I had a dollar for every time I’ve wanted to get out of my seat in boardrooms and shout “but we’ve already seen this movie, we know how it ends!” It always ends up hurting the brand and it trains customers in negative purchase behaviours. In short, it slowly kills the business. Such is the siren’s call of the tried and the comfortable.
If only I had a dollar for every time I’ve wanted to get out of my seat in boardrooms and shout “but we’ve already seen this movie, we know how it ends!”
But now, at Cult, I spend my life getting out of that seat and calling for sanity. It’s time to put down the drugs that give a temporary high, to take the red pill, and wake up to what amazing things can happen when marketing dollars are reassigned from making people buy-to making them buy in. When budgets stop being wasted on shouting into the jaded void, and are, instead, channeled into transforming organizations and their products by making them more remarkable, purposeful, human, involved, inspirational and pervasive, cults are born.