3 Crappy Business Tips from ‘Scream 4’
The Scream franchise is one of my favorites of all time. Although it’s hard to compare one genre with another, I rank it up there with Indiana Jones and Harry Potter. That’s blasphemy to snobby film critics, I’m sure, but I said “my favorite” not “most revered of all time for people that eat foie gras and pronounce ‘croissant’ with a fake French accent.” Plus, the last Lord of the Rings movie got a boatload of Oscars, so there’s really no accounting for taste. The fourth movie – SCRE4M if you must – opened to disappointing box office totals and has gotten middling reviews across the board. Don’t want your latest product or service to be a huge disappointment after a series of successes? Then make sure you DON’T follow any of the tips Scream 4 has to offer.
WARNING: THIS POST CONTAINS A BIG-ASS SPOILER FOR A VICTIM IN SCREAM 4.
Give him a mask, and he's Ghostface!
1) Take small details and exaggerate them to the point of ridiculousness.
One of the things I love most about the Scream movies is that the killer was human. Not only was it screwed up that you know and trust your friends’ killer, but Ghostface actually stumbled and reacted to being attacked.
However, the killer in the fourth movie was pretty much a Keystone cop
. Ghostface couldn’t handle making a sharp turn let alone manage to stab someone with any accuracy. The problem was that the small detail was emphasized too much. If you include hand-written thank you notes with your orders, that’s sweet. If you write a personalized poem and seal the note with a lipstick kiss, you’re a bit of a freak show. Small gestures are effective because they’re just small enhancements to an overall product, not the focus. A nice touch should remain just that: a touch.
The dreaded I'm-not-listening and I'll-hold-my-breath-until-I-get-my-way combo.
2) Don’t listen to advice from people with experience.
We all know that characters in horror movies do stupid things. But Kirby – an otherwise intelligent and likeable character – does something unbelievably stupid toward the end of the movie. Despite the direct order by Sidney– someone who knows a thing or two about not dying a stupid death
– Kirby leaves the unlocked safety of her home to go outside and help a trapped friend. What does she get for her efforts? A knife to the stomach. Luckily, the actress herself is much smarter
. Although every situation is different and people hate the phrase “I know how you feel,” there are occasionally those helpful folks who have been in your shoes before. Why make your own mistakes when you can learn from others’? Acknowledge your own intuition and expertise, but make sure you’ve got an ear out for others who’ve faced the same decisions and take note of the consequences.
This is a grape. And this is a grape. And this is a grape. And this is definitely a grape.
3) Treat customers like they’re stupid, especially by repeating yourself over and over and over and over and over…
Scream was the first horror movie where the characters themselves had actually seen scary movies, and the “rules” of survival were established by the first man I ever loved, Randy Meeks.
By time we reached the fourth movie, every character was talking about the “rules” nonstop. There’s no need treat the audience – or your customers – like they’re morons. It’s one thing to deliver information verbally and in writing. You want to draw attention to important information and have it written down for future reference (and legal accountability). But if you repeat yourself over and over again (think the Head-On commercial
), customers are going to start:
a) feeling talked down to
b) start picturing you as a slimy politician with programmed talking points, and/or
c) wanting to burn down your house and slaughter everyone you love.
Oops, sorry, that last one was just me after watching the Head-On commercials. So what other business tips can you pull from Scream 4? Anything from movie franchises in general? What does Pirates of the Caribbean, Harry Potter, and James Bond do so well over so many years to make them so successful? What did you think of the bullshit last fifteen minutes of Scream 4? Sound off in the comments below! Until next time, keep expanding your brand!