Friday Think/g: Let’s Go To The Movies


Hi, all.

Hope you had a good week.

Welcome to Friday Thing/k – a brand storytelling canvas where I’d like to share with you smart, creative, inspiring, engaging, cool, and innovative content marketing ideas that take my digital marketing breath away once a week.

Oh… Cinema Paradiso

Have you seen this oscar-winning, beautiful Italian story about a filmmaker who recalls his childhood and when he fell in love with the movies at his village’s theatre?

There is something magical about the cinema.

The big screen, the comfortable seats, the moment the lights go off (and the popcorn goes in), the sound (Dolby, of course), the communal experience, and the visual storytelling.

I love how movies cast a spell on and engage you. I also don’t mind, and actually quite like, the ads before the movie starts. Those 2-3 minutes branded films are also part of the experience.

I think that in some way, watching a branded video in the cinema is similar to viewing a recommended video via Outbrain. In both cases it grabs your attention, it’s not disruptive, and as long as it’s interesting, you actually don’t care how long it is.

So, this week’s thing/k is about the cinema and how brands are leveraging that experience, where audiences are captivated enough to open their minds and hearts, to share their stories.

Ad agency Grey New York and States United to Prevent Gun Violence created a faux “blockbuster” film called “Gun Crazy,” which promised an action-packed ride for movie-goers. The agency worked with a recruiting agency to identify people who loved action movies to get them to check out this new movie.

But instead of a movie, footage of real-life killings pulled from news footage and CCTV feeds were shown instead.

Filmed for their reactions, the audience was shocked, and the objective of demonstrating potential dangers of weak gun control measures, achieved.

Speaking about stunts, but not in a loaded topic (no pun intended), I’m not sure if what you’re about to watch next is the most annoying thing/k ever or a super cool stunt. It is one thing for sure- a redefinition of what opting-in to watch a movie means.

To paraphrase another great movie title, let’s call it: Run, Lola, Run!

Before you click away, at the time this post is published, it will be the eve of Passover, so here’s a short kosher thing/k.

Back in the early 20’s of the previous century, American Jews celebrated the Passover holiday by eating matzo (and other constipation-oriented products), but they couldn’t have coffee. It seems that there was never a coffee brand certified as “Kosher for Passover.”

So In 1923, Maxwell House saw an opportunity and introduced the first “Kosher for Passover” coffee. Looking to position the brand in the minds of Jewish consumers, Maxwell House’s ad agency used an innovative marketing tactic (for the time): branded content.

Their idea was to publish a Haggadah and offer it to customers for free.

It was an instant hit!

Today, it’s the most popular Haggadah in the world, with over 50 million prints, which in our currency is like 500M YouTube views.

Happy Passover. See you next Friday.

As always, feedback is more than welcome, and needed so please leave comments below. Additionally, if you have anything/k in mind, I would love to discover it.

Just call me Joe.

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