Tuesday, February 28, 2012


“Venturing out of your comfort zone may be dangerous, yet you do it anyway because our ability to grow is directly proportional to an ability to entertain the uncomfortable.” – Twyla Tharp
Congratulations Michel Hazanavicius for venturing outside your comfort zone to direct Academy Award winner The Artist.

Read On:
Sunday night, the black-and-white silent film The Artist walked off with five academy awards. Imagine in an age of computer generated action thrillers, director Michel Hazanavicius conceived of a classic black-and-white silent film about a fading movie star caught up in the transition of silent movies transforming over to sound. The last silent film to win the top prize for Best Picture was Wings back in 1929.

Marketing is morphing. Status quo or adapt? I am an advocate of change. Change takes risk. Yet change sometimes can be the adaption of the old/classic combined with what is new – hybrid. That is what classically trained marketers understand thanks to the new collaborative tools of Web 2.0. Consumers are more engaged than ever due to the Internet. However, smart marketers recognize all the touch points that need to be addressed that influence consumer buying behavior. TV, print, packaging graphics, end-aisle displays, etc. will endure. Facebook, Twitter, QR codes, NFC, etc. are the future. The best of the old/classic combined with the new, hybrid, will produce winners. Michel Hazanavicius understood this concept when he directed The Artist. Michel was willing to take some hybrid risk.

Are you ready to step outside your comfort zone and take some hybrid risk?

I would be remiss not to mention, The Artist actually won a sixth award recently. Uggie the star dog won the first Golden Collar Award earlier in the month.


  1. Great post. I would also say that while marketing is morphing, as is entertainment, the crux of both remains in the masterful telling of a compelling story. Whether in print, online, or something as yet unimagined, if the story is boring, people won't buy.

    Now I need to go see The Artist!

  2. Believe it or not, there was a blurb today that the Artist director said in the post Oscar interview that they were "exploring releasing a version in color, since so many Americans refused to see it because it was B/W". Seriously? Apparently...

    The concept of the post, however, is valid. If you aren't playing on the edges, you aren't taking any risks. And sometimes the risk is to take a new look at an old solution. I like it.

  3. When everyone else is zigging, it's probably time to be zagging!

  4. I think it's Hazanavicius' Lithuanian genes that helped with his success :)

  5. Jimmy,

    I agree with you to a point. Note that the TV audience for the Oscars was flat 2011-2012. Almost as many people watched the Grammy's. Also, the total audience for The Artist (YTD) is approximately 4.0M, significantly less than some of the block buster films that were not nominated for awards.

    Winning awards for creativity and style is nice, but people don't buy into your product, then the awards are just that...nice.

    One issue is that those who vote for the Oscars may be out of touch with what is happening (or movies may be out of touch). Both have to change. I agree that Marketing has to change as well, but by ensuring that the hybrid solution delivers to goods...otherwise it is just nice.