That’s odd

The Wes Anderson movie, “Moonrise Kingdom,” is in theaters now, experiencing generally great reviews. But is the fact that a movie is good enough to get consumers out to the megaplex, make them cough up double digits for a ticket and sit behind a really tall guy, when nearly everyone’s home is a Netflix-powered home theater? Maybe not.

That’s why the recent piece in the New Yorker, “Does Wes Anderson Hate Dogs?” is brilliant. It’s the kind of publicity you can’t pay for—and probably the kind of publicity the movie theater’s PR people weren’t exactly hoping for. In the film, a dog is accidently shot with an arrow, which is then removed, complete with sound effects. This combined with the untimely deaths of canines in other Wes Anderson films prompted writer Ian Crouch to post the uncomfortable question.

After all, killing dogs is something of a third rail in movies and books. Who doesn’t have memories of tearing up as a kid over the deaths of Old Yeller or Old Dan and Little Ann in Where the Red Fern Grows? Dog deaths need to be poignant, tasteful and essential to the plot, or completely ridiculous and over the top, as in the fate of the family pooch in National Lampoon’s Vacation. With a rhetorical headline like “Does Wes Anderson Hate Dogs?” you can bet that a lot more casual readers took the time to read that article than if it were just another review.

Needless to say, your company doesn’t have to create slightly disturbing headlines to get eyeballs on its website or trade magazine articles. But every business should ask itself, what’s unique and different about our company? What do we do that no one else does? What can we say about ourselves that will cause an otherwise casual consumer to stop and read (or watch, or listen) about what we’re all about? What does this have to do with your company and its stance on dogs? Well, nothing, as far as dogs go (I hope), but everything in terms of getting your message heard above the din of routine stories out there. “Does Wes Anderson Hate Dogs?” is certainly an attention-getting headline, but so is “How Much Does EcoTech Love the Environment?”

Trade Press Services can help your company develop these kinds of unique stories and much more. Call (805) 496-8850 or e-mail today.

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