Get rich quick – short-term successes for short attention spans

My first reaction to this news was ‘Hahahahahaha’. But then, it made me think.

A slow-moving (“languorous narrative”) film was sold as THE most romantic way to spend the new year countdown, complete with a 12am kissing gimmick! It worked. And then, it stopped working.

Chinese arthouse film breaks box office records after viewers mistake it for romcom
‘Long Day’s Journey Into Night’ Wins Big With Controversial Marketing

This is the perfect click-bait (tempts you to click, but fails to accurately provide what it promised). In earlier days, this would have been called a ‘Get rick quick’ scheme.

The film made its money. The director is quoted saying, “My colleagues promoting it didn’t steal or rob. They just used their own abilities and knowledge to do their task.”.

This is great PR/marketing, for a poor (in relative terms) product. But one could argue, ‘But it made its money. Isn’t that success, regardless of the ensuing backlash?’.

That sounds like Indian start-up sentiment – focus on everything except business fundamentals (revenue & profit) because there’s enough money to burn. The founders and VCs make money and exit. Isn’t that success, regardless of the company shutting down?

That sounds like political promises. They win elections and stay on for 4/8 years. Then their promises lose steam because they were made only to garner votes. But they stayed on for 4/8 years. Isn’t that success, regardless of them losing eventually?

Short-term ‘success’ seems enough in these attention-starved days. Long-term doesn’t seem to even exist anymore.

The counter to this is the fact that they can all come back, afresh! The start-up folks, armed with a lot of money become mentors and investors, and go through the process once again, from a different perspective. Or, they start again, with another idea, with no trace of what happened to the earlier brand that died. The politicians, of course, go nowhere. They always manage to come back regardless of how much they hoodwinked people any number of times. People seem to either forget those in the ensuing 4/8 years, or find them better than their current option (anti-incumbency)!

I’d love to see what this director makes again, and in particular, how that film is marketed 🙂

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