Monthly Archives: August 2018

Follow Our Rules or Get The Hell Out

For companies, it is as crucial to define target audience, but almost more important is to define who is NOT your target audience.

When we adopted our strict no talking policy back in 1997 we knew we were going to alienate some of our patrons. That was the plan.

If you can’t change your behavior and be quiet (or unilluminated) during a movie, then we don’t want you at our venue. Follow our rules, or get the hell out and don’t come back until you can. 

– Tim League founder/CEO Alamo Drafthouse Cinema

Week ago I was watching a film in movie theatre and someone´s alarm clock started ringing during the show. Everyone noticed that expect the guy whose alarm bell was ringing. My movie experiences have many times been ruined by talking or mobile phone4s. And I am not talking about loud action movies or mild noises; once watching European art film where there is practically no dialogue or loud sounds, one couple was having loud conversation about what to have for dinner. So my stance is clear: if you cannot be without your phone for a length of a movie, stick to Netflix.

Alamo Drafthouse is perfect example of movie theatre that truly walks their talk. Because the problem is not that patrons are encouraged to use their mobile phones. Practically every cinema has no- mobile phone policy. But pretty much no one is truly enforcing it. You as a patron are forced to be the “bad guy“, which not only ruins your night, but also probably the one who is texting (like I would care). Alamo Drafthouse is giving warnings of texting and after the first warning you are kicked out if you continue your bad ways. And they are not afraid to kick texters out of the movie theatre (troublemakers are “snitched” anonymously in the food order sheets).

Rules are meaningless if you don´t follow them.

Other movie theatres let short-sighted greed (or ambivalence) to let few bad apples to ruin the experience for majority. What Alama Drafthouse has realized that bully or a trouble maker as a client is never a good client. You should get rid of them, because having a bad client ends up costing you money in the long run. If you have rules and defined target audience, you should be true to it.

 

Interestingly Alamo has also separate program “Alamo for All”, where noise and technology rules do not apply and you are allowed to move freely in movie theatre. This is to create inclusive accessible movie theatre experience for children, guests with special needs and those who cannot behave in normal movie theatre. Again rules are stated clearly and they are followed. In these screenings you are not allowed to whine about texting.

Few lessons from Alamo Drafthouse:

  1. Be true to your target audience. You do not need to serve everyone. 
  2. If you have rules you must enforce them. Rules without enforcement is not called rule. It is called a joke. 
  3. Have some integrity in what you do. 

Because at the end of the day, the only thing defining you are your principles (which you define yourself so they can be super easy as well). If you cannot abide them, everyone will eventually lose respect for you.

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Treat YouTube Bumpers like Print Ads

YouTube Marketing

Me finding something weird under my fingernails during my presentation about Video trends

Yesterday I was speaking in “Digital PR Strategies 2018”-seminar about how to build your brand one video out of time. While rambling about industrial shredders, Finnish midsummer buyers buying cucumbers and condoms, opportunities of Augmented Reality or how we have worse attention span than goldfish, I also talked about YouTube Bumpers (actually connected to our short attention span).

Those 6 second non-skippable ads have been talked about a lot in last year or so. One key drivers for more shorter video ad content is that majority of audience detest most advertising that is pushed to them. Pushed being the operating term; people are consuming content more than ever before and they are fed up with the bad intrusive advertising more than ever before. So if you take a cynical view, using short form content and branding from first second onwards is preparing to fail: “people will skip it anyway so let´s just be fast”.

The truth is naturally more nuanced and there is a role for different lengths of brand content. The important thing is to have distinct roles for the all the different video assets. It is therefore crucial to recognize what YouTube bumpers are and what they are not.

Bumpers are not for brand building or explaining complicated nuances about your product. However, they are useful tool for brand recall and enforcing your unique selling point (if you have any).

Therefore you should not think about 6 seconds as a grand storytelling tool*, but more like a print or OOH. You can communicate one strong message, one strong visual (that is naturally moving because it is video) and your brand. Nothing more, nothing less. Don´t get confused by that is video, think of it as print ad and probably your creative will become much better.

*And yes I have seen the 6 second renditions of literature classics. And they suck balls compared to original material (although some of them are quite funny). But no one in their right mind would even compare YouTube bumper to great literature novel, apples to oranges and so on. 

 

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