Cup of Copy: Nostalgia

Everyone is buzzing about this new movie, you may have heard of it: Jurassic Park.  Sound familiar? That’s because it is the exact same movie that was made two decades ago. This is not a remake or a reboot, no. This is the exact same movie that was released in 1993, just dusted off and remastered for IMAX 3D.

The average adult price for IMAX 3D is $15.50.  A DVD of this exact movie was released in 2000 and can be purchased for $10. The only difference is that it is not in 3D. However, there is still a frenzy of support from my friends, coworkers, and society as a whole and I cannot for the life of me understand why. Is it exploitation of nostalgia or some inexplicable psychological phenomenon? We’ll take a look at both sides and its implication to content marketing.

jurassicpark3DThe Cup is Half Empty

The entertainment industry gives us the best examples of duplicated content. Whether it is remixing a song or remaking a movie, it seems that there is always something coming out that has been done before.

The Hangover Experience

The Hangover was released in 2009 and quickly rose in popularity. It was ingenuous and original. Unfortunately, Warner Bros decided that “if it aint broke, don’t fix it” followed up with a sequel two years later. The Hangover II was highly anticipated and almost doubled in revenue during opening weekend (86 million to 45 million). The only problem is that it follows an almost identical plot premise and features similar jokes.

That didn’t go unnoticed either. It was widely criticized for recycling material that was so genuine in the first Hangover. The issue with the Hangover II was not that it was a sequel; there are several successful and popular sequels. No, the issue was that they simply dusted the ideas that worked so well in the original, and polished them off as new.

This is a huge issue in the content marketing community. When one topic generates a lot of shares and comments, it is almost instinctual to want to regurgitate that idea over and over. The only problem is that this can take away from the user’s experience. Seeing repetitive content and similar information will not entice the individual to share. In the diluted world of content if you are not diversifying your information, you will struggle to survive.

Generating unique and entertaining content is key to creating a sustainable content company. That does not mean that you can’t recycle information or material, it just means that you have to be effective in your attempt to do so.

The Cup is Half Full

There is something inexplicably wonderful about the feeling of nostalgia. It is an emotion that is triggered by an event, sometimes minuscule  in your life that brings you an overwhelming feeling of the past. This trigger is sometimes unconscious but on certain occasions it’s preconceived.

With respect to remakes, sequels, and other forms of preconceived nostalgia there is a certain level of expectation set. If the remake lives up to the expectation then it is hailed as another classic, if not, it’s as bad as the Hangover II.

TheHangoverPart2The entertainment industry has been playing this card for several years and there’s no denying its effectiveness. Good or not, sequels and remakes generate a lot of buzz for the shear fact that it sparks nostalgia. That can explain why Jurassic Park 3D has gained such an uproar and why we still hear the likes of Biggie Smalls in songs.

From a content stand-point, knowing how to trigger an emotion or action is the ultimate goal. Nostalgia is a powerful tool and being able to harness it can greatly improve the shareability of your content.

So what can be taken away from the Jurassic Park 3D craze? In general, people respond to duplicated or remade content in a variety of different ways. Some are excited and others are insulted, but the fact is: there is a response.

Effective content is not always contingent on original ideas. It is the approach or delivery that is unique. I can’t for the life of me, think of one original idea. But I guarantee you that I can approach an idea from an angle that has not been used.  So go watch Jurassic Park and let it take you back to the early 90’s; when Urkle was getting into shenanigans and Beanie Babies were actually collectibles.