I like nothing better than wrapping up in a blanket on the sofa and watching a film with my kids – especially if it’s a Christmas one! Here are my personal favourites, which we can also take something from as marketers. We were inspired for this by a few US based lists, but after a quick team poll, we agreed these are classics in the UK:
Buddy the Elf loves Christmas more than anyone, and will happily tell everyone so. He is the brand advocate that every marketer would love to have – passionate, genuine, and vocal. Even if he does sometimes go off the corporate script in his delivery, it’s because he believes in Santa’s messages and wants others to share that enthusiasm. His dedication is proved as the film plays out, but has been built from day one in the clear cultural values he’s been taught at the North Pole.
There are several versions of this story, although my favourite is the 1951 classic, Scrooge. Whatever the adaption, Dickens’ core message remains, which is that the ghosts carefully position (and time) their message to convince Ebenezer to change his ways. Many marketing campaigns seek to alter behaviour, even if it’s just the move from a prospect to a client. In this case, each visitor has relevant and persuasive messages and of course the Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come demonstrates the alternative outcome, should Scrooge choose not to commit to change. It’s a customer journey like no other!
Apart from being another great example of the expertise at Aardman, this film tells us about making sure we don’t forget to listen to the voice of our client. We often talk about being client-centric, but when Arthur realises one little girl won’t get what she asked for this Christmas, he will go to any lengths to make sure it’s fixed. His brother is more concerned with performance and targets, but Arthur knows the value of meeting the client need over and above the goals of your firm – because without them, you don’t have a business.
Great relationships aren’t always the ones you’d expect – including with clients. Amanda may know how to market a Hollywood blockbuster but she hasn’t learnt her own USPs. Meanwhile, Iris sees the failure of her relationship as being of her own making, but doesn’t recognise Jasper’s faults. In both cases, the lesson for marketers is to know your own strengths and play to them. That means that not every prospect or client will be right for your firm. And if a client relationship does end, evaluate it and learn from it for your next “meet cute”.
So maybe this isn’t one for the kids, and some argue it’s not festive – but I beg to differ. It’s set at a Christmas party and is about family love, even with the guns and guts thrown in! The lesson for us here is about planning. You should always have a plan, even if it turns out to be a bad one. Good marketing teams can be agile and adapt to change, turning the situation to their advantage. As well as being adaptable, John McClane also pays attention to detail, and learns to understand his competition. He can also communicate with people at all levels, and connects in a way they understand, building trust and loyalty which is vital in getting support for your plans.
It’s probably time he got that vest washed though.