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What Inception Teaches Us About Marketing

By James Shaw

Having recently watched the movie Inception, I was struck by the parallels between ideas in this movie and the strategies and tactics used in the marketing world in which I work.  I thought it'd be fun to explore some similarities and differences...

Note: if you haven't seen the movie, you probably shouldn't read this post.  It contains a lot of spoilers!

Dom Cobb is a skilled thief, the absolute best in the dangerous art of extraction, stealing valuable secrets from deep within the subconscious during the dream state, when the mind is at its most vulnerable. Cobb's rare ability has made him a coveted player in this treacherous new world of corporate espionage, but it has also made him an international fugitive and cost him everything he has ever loved. Now Cobb is being offered a chance at redemption. One last job could give him his life back but only if he can accomplish the impossible-inception. Instead of the perfect heist, Cobb and his team of specialists have to pull off the reverse: their task is not to steal an idea but to plant one. If they succeed, it could be a perfect crime. But no amount of careful planning or expertise can prepare the team for the dangerous enemy that seems to predict their every move. An enemy that only Cobb could have seen coming. Written by Warner Bros. Pictures

Inception Idea/Plot/Quote Marketing Lesson or (Twin Creek-ism!)
"Inception" means creating an idea in someone else's mind. Every marketing message, whether it's a movie, radio commercial, magazine, Facebook ad, or Youtube video attempts "inception" to some degree.
Cobb: The seed that we planted in this man's mind may change everything. The goal of advertising is to plant a seed in the mind that changes one thing (the action you want them to take)
Eames: If we are gonna perform Inception then we need imagination. The best advertising campaigns are usually simple, but highly imaginative.
They have Ellen Page. Twin Creek Media has Amelia Penner!
Cobb: I think positive emotion trumps negative emotion every time. Use positive desire and emotions to attract people to your product/service. Specs, facts & stats are secondary.
Ariadne: I just want to understand. If a visitor doesn't understand your website's homepage within 5-10 seconds they will leave.
They are Hollywood movie stars. We are marketing rock stars. ;-)

About Twin Creek Media Since 2004, Twin Creek Media has been a strategic and creative marketing agency located in Kelowna, British Columbia. The firm has carved a place in the marketing world by becoming known for integrated marketing: combining the best of internet and digital with the traditional mediums of print, radio, and TV.