Social Media Inception

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Over the weekend my wife and I ventured out to see the summer blockbuster, “Inception.” We absolutely loved it. It’s been getting great reviews and everyone’s been talking about it. The question is, why?

Just last week Old Spice took the Internet by storm. There wasn’t a person I knew who hadn’t watched one of their amazing videos (and some were lucky enough to get one made for them). The videos were so popular that YouTube’s servers couldn’t stand up to the amount of people wanting to watch them. Again, the question is, why?

What Inception and Old Spice have in common is that they were original. They were unique. They produced what so many of us strive for. They became the case study. They are the ones who producers and executives alike now say, “I want that!”

But how do we get “that.” I think what makes these events so unique is that the majority of us are looking in the wrong places. We’re all focused on trying to recreate something that has already happened. What good is it? Sure it worked for them, and you might assume it would work for you, but could what you reproduce come even close to the attention and press that they received? Of course not. Because now we’ve all seen that type of movie/marketing campaign. We all expect it, which takes away the one thing that made these campaigns what they are: surprise.

If you’re unaware, Inception basically looks at the idea that we store our most important secrets deep into our subconscious. In order to steal those secrets, you must enter their subconscious through their dreams and convince them to tell them to you. How brilliant is that?

In Old Spice’s case, they invited us all to participate in their marketing campaign. It’s something that we all preach and that we know is a key element to any successful campaign: participation. And yet, Old Spice was the first to have their branded character interact with us all. Why didn’t Geico ever do that? Or any other company with a well-branded character?

What we all get lost in is trying to recreate other people’s success, instead of finding new ways to create our own. We spend hours reading articles about the successes and failures of other marketing campaigns, and try to find a way to build on their successes. While no one can deny the importance of research, what seems to get lost is what made the campaigns successful from the beginning: creativity.

So if you want to be the next Inception or Old Spice, what I encourage you to do is to find a way to create something new. You’re not going to get it right the first time. It might take you 50 times before you are able to create a campaign of that magnitude. But if you can focus on creating your own campaign, one that no one has done before, I believe your chances of success will be much higher than you think.

Taylor Pratt
Taylor Pratt is the Product Marketing Manager at Raven Internet Marketing Tools. With Raven you can conduct research and analysis, manage link building campaigns, track... Read Full Bio
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  • Curtisbalk

    sound advice.

  • Maciej @ SEO Noobie

    Why it is always important to bring something new to the table. People are sick of seeing the same old thing over and over.

  • Clint Hitchcock

    I know that you are right. Using social media to bring profits to your business has to be planned and tried and tried again. Not everyone is going to hit a homerun on their first shot.

  • sanjayparekh

    Definitely a good roundup and yes it takes a while for any business to do well online. I think being a Jedi would be useful these days. I want you to buy my product now!

  • Acacia

    I wrote a similar post last week, focusing on auto dealers, but touching on some of the things it takes to make a video go viral. It's important for businesses to be honest, transparent, capture attention quickly and, as you said, be original.

  • Mckinley Media Group

    Really good article…bad news is I haven't seen the movie yet, but really want to