4 things La La Land teaches us about marketing

Banner image courtesy of: Wyeside Cinema

Is your business singing off the same hymn sheet as the Oscar and box office hit? Because if it isn’t, it should. Here are some top lessons that’ll get your marketing really moving this year.

It’s the talk of the town. Damien Chazelle’s American romantic musical, La La Land, is collecting awards like an annual sticker book and earning money quicker than you can say “cha-cha-cha”.

But what on earth does this dazzling Hollywood production have to do with a business’ marketing here in rainy Britain?

Let’s find out. (Be warned, there are a few spoilers ahead.)

Perseverance is key

When you’re in the planning stages of a new marketing campaign, how many times do your ideas simply fester on a page in your notebook? In La La Land, Emma Stone’s character, Mia Dolan, can’t seem to get a break with her acting career. But instead of standing on ceremony, she perseveres.

Most Hollywood stars aren’t born overnight. They keep auditioning and tapping at the door. Mia’s character quit her job as a barista and wrote her own production. That gamble paid off.

Marketing is the same. You need to make your ideas happen. Sure, a social competition you run might not garner the response you want at first, or perhaps your enticing email campaign offer for a free car service didn’t have your phone ringing off the hook. But it’s all about learning from these setbacks, tweaking your campaign and even taking a few risks. Sometimes a simple alteration to your offer, or sending your campaign out at a different time of the day can have a huge impact on the results.

Colour counts

La La Land received 14 Oscar nominations. Among these were the awards for Cinematography and Best Costume Design. Why am I highlighting these in particular you ask?

Well, it’s all about the colour. Just take the movie poster of La La Land as an example. Not only is the skyline in the background sumptuously beautiful, but the exuberant yellow dress Mia (Emma Stone) is wearing compliments her warmth, clarity and optimism as a character.

Image courtesy of: We Make Movies On Weekends

When it comes to a marketing campaign, it’s these fine details that really make a big difference. A fantastic article by Help Scout emphasises this point. Stating that the ‘psychology of colour as it relates to persuasion is one of the most interesting – and most controversial – aspects of marketing.’

In particular, they used an example known as the Isolation Effect. It reveals that an item that ‘stands out like a sore thumb’ is more likely to be remembered. To prove this, Help Scout tested the effectiveness of different colours on website buttons. By simply changing the call to action button from green to red, they found that the conversion rate increased by 21%.

Taking it back to La La Land, if Damien Chazelle (director) and Mary Zophres (costume designer) decided to give Emma Stone a different colour dress to wear in this iconic shot, would the movie be as successful? Maybe so, but maybe not.

You may think it’s just a small element in the bigger picture, but as a business, it’s these finer details that’ll make your next marketing campaign stand out from the crowd.

Be a chameleon

Mia and Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) don’t enjoy a happy ending. By making their dreams come true, they somehow lose each other in the process.

Bitter sweet you could say. However, the real lesson here is adapting. Marketing trends change by the hour, and the sign of any successful business are the ones that adapt.

An example of this was the article published by Forbes, stating that Twitter generates 82% of social media leads. Outperforming Facebook and LinkedIn by nine to one.

Or more recently, how text messaging was officially announced as the UK’s fastest-growing marketing channel, with 33.67 million consumers opting in to receive SMS alerts from their favourite brands and businesses.

The point is, your marketing strategy might not go to plan. But if you move with the trends and keep your mind open to new things, there’s no reason your business can’t enjoy a happy ending.

Which leads me on nicely to my next point…

Try something different

In La La Land, Mia and Sebastian may achieve their dreams, but they’re just two shining examples. For every star that makes it, there are dozens of budding stars hustling and anxiously waiting for their big break. It’s all about going that extra mile and getting your business recognised.

For the film itself, Gosling learned how to dance and play the piano. This just goes to show, despite Gosling’s superior Hollywood status, he wasn’t afraid to give something else a try. The same principle applies to UK businesses.

Here at Textlocal, we’re always looking to spread the word on mobile marketing and communications. Surprisingly, only 36% of SMEs currently use branded or business SMS. That’s 64% of small to medium size businesses missing out on the power of text messaging. Which is staggering when you consider that 98% of SMS are opened, with 90% of them being read in the first three minutes.

So, if you haven’t given mobile marketing a go, try it today for free. And who knows, maybe you’ll win a few awards of your own for your next campaign.


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Over 98% of the text messages sent from our SMS tool are opened and read. That’s unmatched communication power for your business. Try it for yourself.