> Why Julie McCoy is the Best Marketing Idea Ever
Why Julie McCoy is the Best Marketing Idea Ever
| Posted: Sunday, April 5, 2009
As a youngster, my heart fluttered often and wildly at a range of notions...Christmas is coming...We're going to San Diego on vacation...The Love Boat is on in half an hour...
Fact of the matter is, all of the sway in my adolescent thought consumption was based pretty much on foundational chemical reactions to what I considered exciting options. As alluded to above, one of those exciting options was the opportunity to see Lauren Tewes play the spirited Julie McCoy on the Love Boat from 1977 through 1984. I am certain I was not alone in my enjoyment of her exuberant, youthful smile...and boat directing...or whatever it was that she did.
Now that I am older and don't watch Love Boat anymore (this is an important qualification), I look back on the series, my childhood and the whole concept of Julie McCoy and the woman who played her role with some interest. You see, now that I spend much of my time trying to figure why people do what they do for the express purpose of marketing a better product in a better way, I don't think about how she affected my youthful hormones so much as how she placed herself firmly into American culture in a decisive, relevant manner.
Think about it: If you were old enough, who doesn't remember Julie waving "hi" to all the guests boarding the boat? Who doesn't remember her innocent, yet compellingly soft wisdom and advice to (insert emotionally impacted adjective here) passengers?
When you get down to it, the establishment of Julie McCoy in American culture was one of the best marketing Ideas ever. She connected with the viewer on many levels, to men and women alike, and was primed as the perfect accompaniment to a sorted group who actually paled in comparison (I mean, really - a bartender and doctor?) And, to kind of pull things together: Great marketing does that as well. It is able to go beyond the original concept and elevate above the surroundings.
To develop the best marketing ideas, you rest on an idea that works in unison with the surroundings, yet manages to elevate above everything else around it, because of its collusion of positioning elements (uniqueness, distinctiveness, relevance, compassion are a few...) The best marketing idea can exist on it's own, in a group, or in any situation. But mostly, the best marketing idea can impact things beyond the initial concept.
If Julie McCoy was only a character on Love Boat...well, that would be that. But the fact that the character impacted people so much that Love Boat began a downward spiral in ratings after the sudden departure of Lauren from the cast in 1985, speaks to the marketing prowess (of course, if you listen to some, it simply meant Lauren was a little bit of a train wreck with "certain habits" affecting her performance).
In the end, while it may be debated about whether Julie McCoy really was the best "anything" ever...much less marketing idea...I think there are lessons to be learned from the character;
1. If you are marketing something, don't be apologetic in how clear you are in revealing
2. Be sure you have a back up should you need to change plans midstream.
3. Understand that not everything is what it seems a lot of the time. If you can create a
marketing idea that can exist beyond the initial thought or lifetime, then you have
created something powerful.
Now...go set your course for adventure and get your best marketing ideas up and running.