That’s Intriguing #9: What Did Valentine’s Day Director Garry Marshall Say About Money Phrases?

Watched CBS Sunday Morning this a.m. – my favorite weekend ritual – and thoroughly enjoyed the interview with Hollywood icon Garry Marshall.

You’ve probably heard about Garry’s new movie Valentine’s Day which stars Julia Roberts, Ashton Kutcher, Jennifer Garner, Jamie Fox and some of Hollywood’s most bankable stars.

Asked why his movies (Pretty Woman, Beaches, Princess Diaries – to name a few) do so well at the box office, Marshall said, “I don’t work with green screens or blow things up. I think love is nice. I do two people in a room best.”

I agree. Who can forget that scene in Pretty Woman when Richard Gere surprises Julia with an expensive necklace for their big date to the opera? As she reaches out to touch it, he snaps the jewerly box shut and she reacts with a peal of laughter.

It’s one of those indelible scenes you tell others about, smiling each time.

What I remember most about Garry Marshall though . . . was his keynote at the Maui-Hawaii Writers Conference at the Grand Wailea. http://www.mauiwriters.com/

I’ve had the pleasure of emceeing this conference for 17 years. We’ve been blessed to feature many top Hollywood directors including Ron Howard (Apollo 13, The Da Vinci Code), Michael Arndt (Little Miss Sunshine) and Bobby Moresco (Million Dollar Baby, Crash).

During Marshall’s Q and A, an audience member asked, “What’s the secret to a making a movie that makes money?”

Marshall paused for a moment and then said, “Do people walk out of the movie repeating something they heard, word for word?”

Great insight. When people walk out of a movie saying, “Make my day,” “I’ll be back,” “Show me the money,” they become word-of-mouth advertisers for that movie.

When people ask, “Seen any good movies lately?” they’re likely to talk about the movie that made a lasting impression on them with its memorable scenes and dialogue.

Are you thinking, “That’s interesting, but what’s this got to do with me?”

Are you writing a blog or book? Preparing a presentation? Shooting a TV show or movie? Developing copy for your website?

Ask yourself, “Will people be able to repeat something they read or heard from my work, word for word?”

If so, good for you. Those people will become YOUR word-of-mouth ambassadors. They will spread the word about your work and help take it viral, thus putting money in your pocket.

If not, check out Chapters 16-18 in my book POP!.

That section of POP! provides innovative techniques for creating a “money phrase” that compellingly communicates the essence of your work so people remember it and recommend it, thus becoming your “tribe” of marketers.

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