Aside from the Soderbergh thing, check out the trailer on the official site by clicking here (or on the image above). What does the trailer promise? A pulse-pounding thriller. Action. Suspense. Thrills. It's a great trailer.
... Only... the movie isn't exciting. Your pulse will never clock 90. There's no suspense. It's a great flick, don't get me wrong, but it isn't the movie that the trailer is trying to sell you. If you go see this movie expecting it to be like the trailer, you will be sorely disappointed.
Along the same lines, how many people will go see "Quentin Tarantino presents Hostel" because they think it's a Tarantino film? (Being executive producer doesn't mean squat.) The director (Eli Roth) only has one other movie to his name, and it's Cabin Fever. (Arguably the worst movie ever made. If you don't believe me, convince someone you don't like to rent it for you, and watch it. You'll never get those 94 minutes back, but at least, you'll have the satisfaction of not having wasted four bucks.)
In other words, in spite of what the campaign pushing this movie would have you believe, don't expect "Pulp Fiction" meets "Saw II".
You can't sell one thing and deliver another. Contextual bait & switch is just lame.
A word of warning to everyone in the marketing world: Whether you're advertising movies, music, cars, burgers, sportswear or prescription medication, be careful not to extend your creative license further than your customers' expectations will stretch.
Even if you aren't technically guilty of false advertising, even if your product ends up being great, engaging in these kinds of tactics is still slimy. The end doesn't justify the means.
There's a right way to do this. Tricking customers isn't it.
Airlines, eat your heart out. Hotels too. And restaurants. Your lousy service is inexcusable. You've been trumped.
Case in point: Cruises.
Here's the deal: Until last week, I had never been on an ocean cruise. I never even wanted to go on a cruise, really. The prospect of hanging out in a giant floating hotel, surrounded by swarms of annoying tourists didn't appeal to me. Especially with the whole tight-quarters thing going on. I've never been big on the group activity deal. I'm not a joiner. I kind of like to travel off the beaten path and come up with my own entertainment.
I don't like tourist traps.
But I finally gave in and went on a Disney Cruise with my family last week, and I have to tell ya, I have a whole new outlook on the cruise thing.
I never, ever, ever expected it to be as good as it was.
So... no more sneering from this guy. No more jokes about "The Mouse". No more "cruises are for suckers" speeches from me. Nope. Those days are over.
Crow never tasted so good.
For a week, I only saw smiling faces. Not fake smiles, mind you. Genuine smiles. The folks who took care of us were happy to be there. They were professional. Our satisfaction was their main concern, and it showed. From the elaborate towel sculptures left in out immaculate stateroom every day to the friendly smiles on every deck, their mission to keep us happy was obvious.
I have never, ever, ever experienced this level of service anywhere (and I've traveled in some pretty exclusive circles.)
The food was great. The rooms were great. The shows were great. The parties were great. Everything about our experience was completely flawless. The kids had a magical time, and so did we.
Believe me: I wanted to find flaws. I looked for them everywhere. I found none.
After having witnessed flight attendants treat passengers like cattle (literally), after having suffered the "next, please" attitude of five-star hotel staff, after having endured lousy service from waiter after waiter after waiter in more white-tablecloth restaurants than I care to list, after years of watching retail sink into an abyss of morose customer unappreciation, I have finally found the last bastion of true customer service: Cruises.
Cruises have it all figured out. They do. They hold the customer experience firmly in their white-gloved hands. Is it a matter of survival? Not really. They could just settle for good enough. They could just shrug and say "hey, for the price you're paying, this is pretty darn good." They could shake their heads at the Bulgarian waiters and South African hosts and explain to you in confidence that it isn't easy finding good help these days.
But no. These guys would give Marines a run for their money when it comes to squaring away uniforms, bathrooms, hallways and staterooms. People you've never seen in your entire lives make a point of knowing your name before you ever set foot on the ship. Your glass is never empty. Your ice bucket is always full. These folks aren't just satified with pretty good. These guys are after one thing and one thing only: Perfection.
Every single thing they do from the moment they get up in the morning is about making you feel these three little letters all day: W.O.W.
Yep, Wow. They want you to feel this way. They get off on it. They don't just go through the motions. It isn't just about training and procedures. It's about pride. About purpose. About fun.
My faith has been restored.
Now... let's start working on bringing the magic home to your neighborhood businesses. To the local restaurants and grocery stores and retail outlets. To your local garage.
To your least favorite airline.
To your wireless provider.
To your local DMV office.
Fix your broken windows. Hire the best people you can find. Shut up and listen to your customers. Never settle for good enough. Book a cruise and go find out for yourselves what great customer experiences are all about.
There's hope for thousands of businesses, and that's great news.
Go read the rest here and here.
"Customer service is the job of front-line workers, servicing customer
requests for help - via an 800 number, e-mail, or a retail desk. It's important
to invest in good customer service, but that's just the tiniest sliver of the
Customer experience is the job of everyone in the company. My
customer experience was bad because the product, and the refund policy, are both
broken. Everyone from the CEO and CFO to the product designers and manufacturing facility contributed to this bad customer experience; and as a result, they've lost a customer and generated bad word of mouth. The good customer service I received didn't - and couldn't possibly - fix the overall experience."
"If your new Big Idea doesn't scare the hell out of you, it's probably not
a new Big Idea. If it doesn't scare other people, it might be because you
allowed the consensus (or what you imagined as the consensus) to smooth
the pointy bits, buffing and polishing the idea into a nice safe state that
displeases nobody and delights nobody."
"But--if we let the critics (or fear of criticism) talk us out of an idea
we still believe in, the world will be more homogeneous. Smoother. Less
interesting. Imagine where we'd be if people throughout history had always given
in to the critics (or fear of critics). Imagine the ideas that would have been
lost if others hadn't been brave enough to stand up against smart people who
disagreed. Nature needs change and diversity, but humans tend to favor the
... Well, not all humans. Some of us are wired a little bit differently. It isn't so much that we're difficult. We really aren't. It's just in our DNA to a) figure out ways to make things better for people around us, and b) to find ways to take these ideas and actually make them happen.
We just want faster wheels. Safer helmets. Sharper pictures. Easier web interfaces. Cleaner fuels. Smarter workspaces. Softer beds. Fun retail spaces. Cheaper orbiters. More powerful telescopes. Tastier drive-thru coffee. Food, clean water and medicine for every human being on the planet. Better advertising. Put simply, we have the skills to make these things happen, and don't feel like waiting for someone else to get around to it.
Kathy posted a link to the very cool ode to "The Crazy Ones", from Apple. Remember the ad? If not, maybe this will refresh your memory:
Here's to the crazy ones.
The round pegs in the square holes.
The ones who see things differently.
They're not fond of rules.
And they have no respect for the status quo.
You can praise them, disagree with them, quote them,
disbelieve them, glorify or vilify them.
About the only thing you can't do is ignore them.
Because they change things.
They invent. They imagine. They heal.
They explore. They create. They inspire.
They push the human race forward.
Maybe they have to be crazy.
How else can you stare at an empty canvas and see a work of art? Or sit in silence and hear a song that's never been written? Or gaze at a red planet and see a laboratory on wheels?
We make tools for these kinds of people.
While some see them as the crazy ones, we see genius.
Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.
Related post: Fear Is Irrelevant.
And in honor of Evan (see comments), check this out. ;)
"Why do we get the inspiration for innovation? I think it may be part of the
human condition - that we're always trying to make things better. Sometimes it's
a personal challenge to see if we can outdo what's been "done" before. Other
times, it's a more practical reaction to a need expressed by someone we care for
... a customer, a co-worker, a family member."
"It's important to understand how innovation can effect the perceived value
of your brand. Done right, innovations can keep your brand fresh and relevent to
those people who already know and understand it. Innovation can also open your
brand to new market opportunities."
"Family resemblances are a good thing. For families. But for
agencies, it can get you into trouble. When the
stuff you create for your boat manufacturer client starts to look or sound or
feel just like the stuff you're making for that software startup, oh, and the
athletic-shoe retailer, and maybe the fast-food restaurant, too; you have to
ask: Are you doing what speaks best to the audience? What's best for the client?
Or are you doing what you personally think is cool? Worse yet, are you doing
what the competition is doing, too?"
"Ad agencies have been backed into a corner and mostly do rattling. It's theYesterday's purple cows are today's brown cows.
high-cost, high-profile, high-risk part of marketing, and the kind that
rarely works. What a shame that some of the smartest people in our field
aren't allowed (by their clients and by their industry's structure) to get
behind the scenes and change the product, the strategy and the approach
instead of just annoying more people with ever louder junk."