I started off this post ready to tear a new one into the already desensitised Troy Duffy, director of the cult classic Boondock Saints and not so classic Boondock Saints 2. I had the perfect theory into how a director can loose the plot by making stupid decisions when trying to market their film.
Marketing is what I know, and it’s become what I love. Advertising, WOM, Social Media, Innovation etc…I love it all, and the fact that I love film, music, architecture and ads gives me the perfect springboard to share some random thoughts.
Now…if you’re a fan of Boondock Saints, enjoy, if you aren’t or haven’t seen it – go rent the movie, or do the porcelain toilet jump.
So to gather the ammo I needed to sacrcastically prod at the disappointment I had in our dear old friend Troy, I decided to do a little research…and it ended with me drinking tea at 3am while checking out IMDd movie stats and Troy Duffy documentaries like the one below which should have ruined my impression of the man, but it didn’t…instead, after watching this I came to realise that, like all great success there needs to be a benchmark to failure. This documentary gives you a windshield view to the car crash that was Troy Duffy’s career and life…but call me Bambi if you don’t learn something, and this is where our story begins…
I’d like to start with a quote from Troy Duffy which summarises a lot of where my thinking’s at: “Boondock fans get the fucking tattoos. These people are fucking crazy. This is a crazed fan base. They love it. I think critics hate the fact that I made something that they regard as a low art and it found a huge volatile audience of fans. That pisses them off more than the movie.” Troy Duffy
You’re damn right Troy, I had a long hard think about which tattoo to get on my back at a stage…Boondock Saints or Lock,Stock and Two Smoking Barrels…I chose the latter, no worries it came down to design, not sentiment 😉 The fact is, I am a hardcore fan, a “fuckin crazy” person…and anyone who knows me would surely vouch for the fact that I tend to get a little excited about stupid shit. The point is I’m not a movie fan, or a car fan or any other kind of dedicated soul. I’m simply a cold, hard slave to passion…and that’s a burden I’ll carry to my Lucky Strike sponsored, Chuck Taylor wearing, Fender entertaining grave!
Passion is the key to creating these crazed fans, and a community of people that follow you and your brand like you’re the only human left on Zombie island. A brand people love associating themselves with.
In Troy’s quote he mentioned “a huge volatile audience”, and I think the key word there is “volatile”. Volatile means changing or changeable, and not only are these fans/consumers poised to change rapidly, but I think it’s important to remember that companies, or in this case directors, should be open to the idea of being volatile as well.
With a foundation of fans who are utterly devoted to your product/service and in this case film…you have a loud-speaker to the world, a channel of communication that speaks the language of awesome. Troy Duffy was hated, he was loved and he was a bartender who became a sensation, and through all the shit he created a following, a fan base and a film which still produces word of mouth that generates millions of dollars in video sales every year (I’m referring of course to the original, not the bison-dung, encrusted sequel.)
The great thing about crazed fans is what they create for you and your brand. Search Deviant Art, Facebook, Photobucket, Twitter, take a look at the Boondock Saints fan made typography, custom made gun grips, God you’ll even find stories about how “fans have tracked down each song that the movie featured in order to have Boondock Saints with them in audio wherever they go.” FACT! read it here
As a company, if you think passion is all you need…you’re wrong, that’s what people have. You need a product or service that people can get passionate about!
In saying that, I leave you with this thought: Imagine if Troy Duffy had spent the $8mil he used for Boondock Saints 2, to create the most over the top, awe inspiring marketing campaign that the world has ever seen! One that ticked every traditional and non-traditional box, using everything from viral guerrilla’s to TVC monkeys…all with a focus on the core fan base and the original cult classic…Boondock Saints…1