There’s nothing new about the fact that people now control marketing and advertising, and even determine the launching of new products.
Mt. Dew did it more that five years ago. Frito Lay just did too. Their new flavors were voted on by consumers. It’s a great way to make a lot of noise about their brand, and quite honestly, it also provides the benefit of having The Biggest Focus Group session telling them what people want.
That’s right. You can choose your favorite from among different options.
But what happens if there are no options that are good for you?
I’m sure you would voice your discontentment.
And that’s exactly what happened to Hollywood twice, in less than a month.
First, Ben Affleck is Batman and no, the studio didn’t ask The People. They just decided.
A lot of people had an opinion and enough time to express it. They took it to the streets (read Social Media) with anti-Affleck Facebook pages and Instagram/Twitter hashtags like #BetterBatmanThanBenAffleck to make sure everyone knew how important it is for them to get somebody else to play the Caped Crusader in the next Superman movie.
Now Fifty Shades of Grey announced the leads that have been cast for the movie version of the popular romance (mommy porn?) novel. And guess what, fans weren’t that excited either.
Henry Ford once said: “If I’d asked people what they wanted, they would have asked for a faster horse.” He was right.
So are we getting to the point where we all need to Ask before we Do anything?
Let them have the last word on which color they want, or if they prefer Cheesy Garlic Bread flavor over Sriracha (that one still blows my mind, though). In advertising, we all know that the kiss of death for creativity is allowing the Almighty Focus Group decide how to “improve” the idea. When it comes to that, we need to take risks, and always go with Unexpected over Traditional.
New is the new New.
The concept with a different, more surprising angle is the one that sticks in your mind longest.
If you need to ask if your idea is good, I’m sure it isn’t.
But getting back to the point: is Hollywood better off by asking for forgiveness rather than permission?
Will this negative reaction translate into ticket sales?
What type of King do we have? A merciless dictator or something closer to the Lion King?
I don’t know, let’s ask someone.