Tag Archives: Marketing

One Too Many Mornings — new indie film, new indie film distribution strategy

Trailer for One Too Many Mornings

Each year it becomes harder for an independent filmmaker (or anyone) to release a movie. Making a movie is hard; distributing it is nigh on impossible.

So it’s interesting to see a filmmaker taking the simplest approach and releasing a movie straight to DVD and to web purchase and download. John August featured the micro-budget One Too Many Mornings on his blog and highlighted their distribution strategy (brief overview post; brief review post), and in the comments of the first post he, blog readers, and the film’s director Michael Mohan are having a discussion about how the film was financed and made, the web software being used to market and distribute the film, and more. Terrific info for anyone in indie film, but also thought-provoking for anyone creating media and considering alternative or straight-to-the-public distribution (fiction and nonfiction, video, podcasts, art).

I particularly love the bundles in which you can buy the DVD. In the Limited Edition Deluxe Package ($34.99) for example, you get a piece of the film’s set: “Yes, literally a scrap from the upholstery of the couch used in the main set of One Too Many Mornings.” It comes with a certificate of authenticity. Buy it now!

A tale of two business books

Two business books I’m reading: Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die by Chip Heath and Dan Heath and Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable by Seth Godin.

It’s a bit unfair to compare the two, because Purple Cow was published in 2002 and Godin has gone on to create other new ideas since then. But I am still struck by how little value I’m getting from Purple Cow compared to how much I’m getting from Made to Stick.

Purple Cow is full of case studies and examples, and questions from Godin. The goal seems to be to get a business person to ask why he is doing things the old way, and to try to shake up his company to create new value. And the overall sense is that the person reading the book hasn’t quite bought into the idea that being remarkable is the path to success, doesn’t quite get it.

All well and good.

Made to Stick is full of case studies too, but the authors have taken the examples and created frameworks and guides to help a business person apply the lessons of the case studies. The overall sense is that the reader understands that sticky = good (at least, after the first chapter’s persuasive argument), so the bulk of the book is devoted to figuring out how to make ideas sticky.

I read Seth Godin’s blog, but sometimes I kind of hate it. I feel scolded by it, although I think I do "get it." I keep reading because I think he offers good ideas on creating value through community — and because I worry that I’ll miss something of value.

I’m pleased though to add the Made to Stick blog to my feedreader. Seems both friendly and informative.

You are what you buy, whether you know it or not

kickin it like an old skool iPod

kickin it like an old skool iPod, originally uploaded by kandyjaxx.

I’m reading Buying In: The Secret Dialogue Between What We Buy and Who We Are, by Rob Walker (about whom I’ve written in the past). As a result, I no longer trust myself — or at least, I no longer believe I understand my motivations for the things I do.

I’d already begun having doubts about the tricks my mind plays on me, thanks to having read a bit about another current book, Dan Ariely’s Predictably/Irrational. Ariely’s book provides all sorts of evidence that people act on motivations they don’t know they have and make up plausible explanations that have nothing to do with the real causes. Seem impossible? Check out a few demonstrations, and you’ll see what I mean.

Buying In is similarly full of simple but startling revelations (although also equally entertaining). Here’s a sample:

Here, then, is the real problem with the argument that this new generation sees right through traditional advertising and therefore is not fooled by its messages: Everybody sees right through traditional advertising. You’d have to be an idiot not to recognize that you’re being pitched to when watching a thirty-second commercial.

But recognition is not the same thing as immunity. And what’s striking about contemporary youth is not that they are somehow brandproof, but that they take for granted the idea that a brand is as good a piece of raw identity as anything else. These are the consumers, in fact, who are most amenable to using brands to fashion meaning for themselves — to define themselves, to announce who they are and what they stand for.

If you’ve struggled to understand what has made the iPod such a success, why Pabst Blue Ribbon is enjoying a sudden surge in popularity despite the company never paying for television ads, and what it means for everyone to become a brand unto themselves, you’ll enjoy this book.