Posts Tagged ‘HBO’

GEORGE HARRISON

October 9, 2011

HBO has been airing the Martin Scorsese film, “George Harrison, Living In the Material World”If you haven’t seen it, make it a point to do so.  The picture is moving beyond words.  It shows us how music…and one person can change the world…the way we think and feel.

There were so many things we learn about George…or at least I did.  One that really stood out was how and why he became a film producer.  It was first and foremost about helping friends.  In this case, the friends were the guys from Mighty Python and the film was The Life of Brian”.

EMI had committed to fund the picture only to change their mind once they actually read the script…just a few days before the legendary comedy troupe were set to begin filming.  George heard what happened to his friends, mortgaged his home, and started a motion picture company
“The Life of Brian”
was made for $4 million.

What sacrifices would you make in the name of art…to help your friends?  George Harrison gives us a great life to try and live-up to. 

Get to work…

Jim

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GOING ON DEFENSE

November 30, 2009

Just as the labels took-on fans in the music business, it started with a lawsuit in telecom as well.  AT&T sued Verizon for “false claims” believing it was Verizon’s advertising and not AT&T’s service that was hurting the company.  But as a very long time AT&T customer (yes they’ve gone through several name changes in the process) I can tell you that Verizon found a real weakness in their competitor and exploited it.  Verizon’s coverage, service, whatever you want to call it is better than AT&T from my experience.  AT&T needed to go on the defensive with their marketing…a long time ago.  It took till mid-November to get something from them.

Verizon was eating AT&T’s lunch for them.  Check out this for creativity http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4JgrBtn8XdU&feature=player_embedded.  So AT&T hired Luke Wilson as their spokesperson and finally went on the defensive while at the same time highlighting their network’s strengths.  If you watch NFL football, chances are you have seen these commercials.   

In Live Entertainment, we could go on defense too.  What if we were to create similar ads where stars compare and contrast other forms of entertainment to live?  For example, would you rather play a video game alone in your room, even if you are playing with other gamers over the internet, or would you rather go and sing, scream, dance, eat, drink, and have fun with your friends at a concert?  Bono said something at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction concert on HBO (I wasn’t at the concert) that really said it all…”Rock-n-Roll is Liberation”.  What gamer could put that kind of cherry on top?

Have you seen the ads for California tourism http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Md69zCJKD1c?  How about the creative radio spots for Vegas?  The fact that our business isn’t investing in itself is a testimony to why we have an attrition problem.  We are competing with entertainment with huge marketing budgets.  We can’t do that.  Yet it’s Live Entertainment that has the amazing communal experiences… and cool stars that have a direct pipeline to fans. 

Let’s start now! It doesn’t have to cost a lot.  It could just be a web/Twitter/blog thing.  Watch how many tickets fly out the door!

Speak with you soon…

Jim

CRUSH IT!!!

September 22, 2009

A few weeks ago Bill Maher did a special edition of his HBO show Real Time by pulling away from the program’s usual format and only interviewing two guests.  One of those guests was Bill Moyers.  Moyers, one of the most respected journalists of our time spoke about what is needed from our leaders in Washington (but it applies to everyone), Passion.

As an example of the passion needed today, Bill Moyers brought up John F. Kennedy’s inauguration speech from 1960.  Specifically the lines “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.”  Moyers points out that if President Obama asked Americans to do the same today…to sacrifice for their country…he probably wouldn’t see a second term (sad to hear but probably true).  Yet at the same time, it is exactly what is needed.  The President was elected because he gave Americans, and to some degree the world…Hope.  You can do the same in your office.

Many see mixing passion with business as unprofessional.  It is misunderstood.  I bet Jim Cramer was seen as crazy by “the establishment” on Wall Street before he got his own TV show.  And I have to believe that was the case with my friend Gary Vaynerchuk (and Kramer’s friend too)…who wrote a book about it called Crush It http://crushitbook.com

Crush It calls for readers to cash-in on their passions.  And who would know better than Gary.  He took a small family run business and turned his passion for wine and Business 2.o into what is now VaynerMedia;  a multi-million dollar enterprise that encompasses retail (The Wine Library) in New Jersey, online retail (winelibrary.com), publishing (He has two books @ age 33), and Gary’s widely popular web TV show, Winelibrarytv.com.  He has even added travel to the portfolio with his second cruise, The Crush It Cruise http://www.crushitcruise.com (full disclosure, The Agency Group Events produces this cruise with our partner Mike London).  Where are the Gary Vaynerchuks of our business?

We saw passion in our heroes…from what is now an almost forgotten business.  People like Bill Graham (anyone within 100′ knew he had passion), Mo & Lenny @ Warner Bros., Frank Barcelona, and of course Ahmet.  Their passions were the acts, fans, and the business of music.  My personal heroes are Abraham Lincoln (honor …and he fought for what he believed in), Bill Graham (devotion to fans and those that play for them), Walt Disney (details in creating the experience for fans) and P.T. Barnum (his ability to communicate with consumers).  All four men had passion and spoke passionately for what they loved.  Today we all seem to be weighed down by the quarterly numbers of every other mature, consolidated industry.  Yet for most of you, the numbers have nothing to do with why you got into this business. 

It is time for all of you to stand-up and become the JFK’s of your offices!  What we all need right now are leaders we can believe in.  Ones that inspire us to do great things (JFK wanted to put a man on the moon)…so we will want to sacrifice…be part of something bigger than ourselves.  Bill Moyers is a great man and he has inspired me.  Bill reminded me of the things we can do when given hope…when we are part of a “Great Group”…when we are pushed to succeed vs. torn down.  Bill, Bill, and Gary reminded me to Crush It. 

Speak with you soon…

Jim