Frankly, My Dear …

Dear Hollywood,

Please stop using “from the studio that brought you …” as a selling point when you promote new movies. It’s disingenuous. It’s ludicrous. It’s like EMI telling people they’ll enjoy Iron Maiden’s “Dance of Death” because it comes from the same label as the Beatles’ “St. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.”

Let me explain from two different points of view:

Dave puts on his movie lover hat.

Studios play a massive role in the industry, but are they really the creative force driving the quality and character of individual movies? No. That’s true for actors, directors, and creative professionals. Tell me a film is from James Cameron and I have a good idea what to expect. Tell me a film is from the studio that brought me Avatar and I don’t give a damn.1 It’s just a cheap attempt at name association. 

Dave puts on his MBA hat.

The problem with “from the studio that brought you …” is that it’s a feature, not a benefit. That’s just bad marketing. Consumers don’t care how and where the product is made. They want to know what it will do for them. So don’t tell me who owns the soundstages and took care of payroll. Tell me why I’ll like your film. You can even say that if I enjoyed a certain movie in the past, I’d enjoy the new movie you’re promoting. That’s information that helps me make an informed decision. 

Pixar is the only exception I’ll allow, and here’s why: Pixar is not just a studio. It’s also a brand promise — consumers know what Pixar provides in terms of value and experience. In that way, identifying Pixar as the studio is a benefit and not a feature. 

Dave takes off his hat.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my little rant, Hollywood. Now would you mind reading my screenplay about the guy who becomes a billionaire overnight by blogging about random stuff?

1 It took a while, but now the title of this blog makes sense.