Moment of clarity:

There is more to your life than your hobbies. If they are causing you grief, go find something else to do for a while.

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Enough, already!

Hollywood, the supposed creative arts center of the U.S. – and some claim, of the western world – just keeps turning back on itself.

The remakes just keep coming.  Up next?  Fame.  That’s right, the 1980 movie and 1982 TV series about New York City’s Performing Arts High School has been hipped up, trendified, updated and spat back out for the masses in yet another stroke of rehash genius from the big brains down in our furthest southwest corner.

Someone took a look at the success of High School Musical and American Idol, decided they couldn’t compete, but recognized the potential to ride another nostalgia train and use a forgotten franchise as a springboard for a big load o’ dough.  Bang, back comes a movie that we’d all forgotten, only it’s not what we remember at all, except for the logo.

Here’s the worst part of it for me:  I actually had a glint a few months ago about this series, sort of a flash in my head of the opening credits, kids dancing in the courtyard of the school, the big red baseball script logo, the soundtrack….and thought, ‘Wow, there’s a series that nobody’s talking about or even remembers.  Glad that’s one they’ve let lie.’

Someone must’ve heard me.

When is this going to stop?  What next?  Magnum, P.I.?  They’re doing The A-Team, might as well, right?  They already tried Miami Vice(A tip to Michael Mann; the original has been inspiration for far too many TV series and movies for you to be able to pull this off again and make it feel fresh.  Move on.).

CRAP.  A check of the rumor mill and IMDB reveals we’re getting Matthew McConaughey in Tom Selleck’s role in 2011.  Too late.

I swear, I could do this stuff in my sleep.  Fine, you want to ride the wave of ’80s pop culture nostalgia?  Let’s do Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and Mannequin again. How ’bout Silver Spoons and another Who’s The Boss? War Games! Short Circuit! (whoops, they’re doing that one…)

Instead of emulating the current popular consensus of what people remember as great film, how ’bout simply noting what made those films great and writing some new material that takes it in a new direction?  Must we keep regurgitating old material and chewing it?

Look, this really isn’t anything new, it took three tries to get The Maltese Falcon right.  Only one version is really all that memorable, but at least they didn’t wait until people remebered it fondly to play on that and bring it back, it was a quick succession of tries(five years between each) until it stuck, and then they left it the hell alone.

Wake up, Hollywood!   You’ve run out of ideas and you’re not fooling anyone.

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Marketing blunder #249

If you’re going to have a individual or firm create your public image, simply tell them who you are, what you do, and how you do it.  Give them free rein from there and if you’ve got a good marketing consultant, they’ll usually give you something right off the bat that works and works well with very little further tinkering.

So many people do not  grasp this basic concept and have already created their public image by the time they decide to hire someone to refine it – which is fine to a limited extent.  If what you’ve selected actually fits you / your company / what you do, a marketer can run from there and give it that final polish that it needs.

This is usually not the case, however.  I’ve seen so many cases in which the marketer will receive some sort of clip art or stock imagery – sometimes even another company’s logo – and be told, ‘Make us a logo and public image based on this.’  They’ve already gone out, grabbed something that wasn’t necessarily designed for what they’re using it for, and they’re further fiddling with it to meet their needs.

Something as specific as a public presence should start with a clean slate.  Handing a graphic artist or marketer someone else’s art and telling them to alter it to suit you creates more work for them, not less.  The end result is usually contrived or completely vague as to its meaning, requiring further work down the road to define or explain it away.

This is such a common occurrence that it’s almost a cliché .  You’d think people would recognize it and avoid it.

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