What Hollywood can teach your business about originality


What Hollywood can teach your business about originality

David Trottier, a successful screenwriter, says there’s no story that hasn’t already been told. It’s hard to argue with him when Disney is making their money through live-action remakes of their old films like The Lion King, Mulan, The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Dumbo, Mary Poppins, The Jungle Book, Cinderella… we could do this all day.

Then there are Marvel movies. 

Marvel’s predictability is so blatant it should be offensive. If they think they can just keep churning the same story out and no one will kick up a fuss, then they’re absolutely right! 

We know every time we step into a Marvel film, an average guy (sometimes a girl if they’re feeling progressive) with a complicated, often tragic past, gets superpowers. They must use them to save people, overcoming obstacles, the biggest one being themselves (eye roll), but they always reach their goals, eventually. It’s the same story over and over, and we pay money again and again because it’s good

In romcoms, two people meet and fall in love. Something annoying happens which tears them apart for about 15 minutes of screen time before they forget about it and finally get together. Action films go something like this: the bad guy is going to do something really terrible unless the good guy stops them before their time is up by using guns, fast cars, a bomb, and maybe a helicopter if they’re not over budget.

But why am I banging on about film structures in a blog about businesses?

Revamping your existing content

Mostly, it’s about perspective, which is important if you want to create unique and engaging content for your audience. It’s also about making the most of your resources. I’ll explain, using more movie examples, because why stop now?

Disney’s The Lion King (1994) grossed 968.5 million USD at the box office and Aladdin (1992) 504.1 million USD. This year, the live-action version of The Lion King has already eclipsed $1 billion at the box office, along with Aladdin

What Disney is doing is making their old content go further. They’ve got plenty of it sitting in their archives that could be making them money, just like thousands of businesses in the UK. Take a leaf out of their book. One piece of professionally produced content could help you bring in more leads, but as it ages, its effects might weaken. What you need to do is revamp this existing content into something more modern. Different, but the same.

You could turn it into an Instagram video, an infographic, collate it into a longer guide, use it as in-house education material, use the statistics in it as tweets, make a podcast around it, or all of the above. What was previously one blog post is now months of useful content for your business with little to no extra spending. 

But about perspective...

The reason we watch the same told over and over is because film-makers trick you into thinking it’s something new just by making you see it from a different perspective. This isn’t a bad thing; it’s a tried and tested way to ensure customer satisfaction using structures that work while still providing the creativity we pay for. 

For example, The Lion King is just Shakespeare’s Hamlet told by talking lions instead of people and they based The Lion King II on Romeo and Juliet. There’s also Romeo + Juliet (1996), West Side Story, and eighteen other film remakes of Romeo and Juliet. Use this idea to help make an unoriginal business premise seem unique.

Tell the same story, but be different

Storytelling is the best way to engage your customers and build a strong audience who invest in your brand. What they want, and what they have always wanted, is great customer service and the best products for a good price. Every business says they provide this. But what will set you apart is how you say you do this in your marketing content. Your business’s story needs to be a new spin on a timeless concept - Just like No Strings Attached and Friends With Benefits are the exact same story with different actors. They even had the nerve to come out in the same year as each other and no one batted an eyelid. 

Be like Audible. Their app does the same thing as a kindle or a paper book - it tells a story - but how they do it is unique: through sound. This difference is their unique selling point (USP). 

Disney thought, “What if Hamlet… but lions?”, and everyone applauded. That’s their USP. Ecosia search engine thought what if people could help the planet by surfing the web? It does the same thing as Google, just with more trees. For Marvel, it’s a different suit, a new weapon, a new power, or a new villain. What’s your USP? Your business depends on it.

It’s hard to infuse originality into your content with so much competition and saturation online. At Coster Content, we use our marketing expertise to make sure your readers know why you’re the best at what you do and what makes you different. We can do this for you by getting to know the ins and outs of your company or we can teach you how to do it yourself. All you need to do is call us on 0161 413 8418.

Alia CosterComment