The Week: Best of the blogs - Marilyn's big impression

I'm going to attempt a less ambitious topic this time. Which is Marilyn Monroe.

This was the time when she kept John F Kennedy waiting at a party for two hours. And the reason she was so late was because a friend of hers was helping her into "the tightest goddam dress I have ever seen on a woman".

When she arrived at the event, the guests apparently "parted like the Red Sea". One guest described her entrance as being "magical ... everything stopped. Everyone stopped." By the end of the evening, she and JFK had swapped phone numbers.

She achieved impact, awareness, positive interest, desired customer response, sampling and an ongoing relationship. She went all the way down "the funnel of response". Which is essentially what people in marketing all want to achieve through their creativity.

What can we learn here?

1. She aimed high. Don't try to pull the guy in accounts. Pull the President.

2. She didn't care about deadlines. It was more important to be right than to be on time.

3. She really cared about initial impact. First impressions are 90 per cent of the battle.

4. She realised she would only achieve her target by doing something extreme. ("The tightest goddam dress" etc.) In any creative endeavour, you need a first or a most.

Essentially MM was demonstrating the chutzpah needed to achieve ambitious targets. Then again, her stated ambition was "to be wonderful". Is that something which most brands would be brave enough to claim?


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