Our Flag Means Death: B2B Marketing Lessons from Taika Waititi’s Hit Romantic Comedy with Director of Content & Communications at, Mariah Petrovic

In this episode, we’re talking about Taika Waititi’s hit romantic comedy, Our Flag Means Death, with the help of special guest, Director of Content & Communications at, Mariah Petrovic. Together, we chat about hiring a crew that’s better than you, ditching muscle-memory marketing strategies, and humanizing your content.

Episode Summary

Muscle memory is killing your marketing strategy. It’s time to get off autopilot and take the helm.

It’s tempting to repeat marketing tactics that worked once. But if you do the same thing over and over, those tactics can lose effectiveness over time. So we’re bringing you fresh marketing ideas inspired by a show that explores the benefits of navigating uncharted waters.

In this episode, we’re talking about Taika Waititi’s hit romantic comedy, Our Flag Means Death, with the help of special guest, Director of Content & Communications at, Mariah Petrovic. Together, we chat about hiring a crew that’s better than you, ditching muscle-memory marketing strategies, and humanizing your content. So all aboard for this episode of Remarkable.

About our guest, Mariah Petrovic

Mariah Petrovic is Director of Content & Communications at She joined the company in May 2023. Prior to her current role, she served as AI Messaging & Thought Leadership Lead for Infrastructure Solutions Group (ISG) at Dell Technologies. She has also worked as Senior Content Marketing Writer at Esri.

Mariah is a B2B and B2C marketer with broad experience in developing and executing go-to market messaging and strategy for leading companies like Dell and Esri (location technology). She also excels in leading content marketing strategy including content audits, content optimization, and development of assets including ebooks, whitepapers, articles, blogs, social content, videos, podcasts, and targeted ABM assets. She spent five years working for a membership organization for C-Suite executives and helped plan and execute events ranging from intimate dinners to national conferences.

About is an AI-powered revenue intelligence platform that helps customers win more revenue by providing sales, RevOps, marketing, enablement, and customer success teams with valuable insights. Companies such as Verizon, IBM Red Hat, Snowflake, Zoom, and Palo Alto Networks rely on their enterprise-grade, patented AI technology. Their unique dataset, consisting of 1 trillion+ sales activities, millions of deals, 160 million business contacts, and 69 approved patents related to AI-based business insights, sets us apart. They use this data to train their models and provide our customers with tailored business predictions and unique buyer insights. They’ve also received validation via Gartner Market Guide for Revenue Intelligence Platforms, the 5000 fastest-growing companies list, named a strong performer and the only enterprise-grade data management platform by Forrester Revenue Operations and Intelligence Wave, listed on the Y Combinator Top Companies List, and the Forbes AI 50 list in 2022.

About Our Flag Means Death

Our Flag Means Death is a show about an aristocrat in the 18th century named Stede Bonnet who decides he’s going to become a pirate. So he buys a ship named “Revenge”, hires a crew, and sails off on the high seas. So it’s about him trying to hold together his crew who are constantly at the brink of mutiny. And in the meantime he runs into Captain Blackbeard and they fall in love.

It stars Rhys Darby as Stede Bonnet and Taika Waititi as Blackbeard. The series was created by David Jenkins and premiered in 2022. It’s now in its second season, and is available on HBOMax.

Our Flag Means Death is loosely based on the true story of Stede Bonnet, who was called the “Gentleman Pirate.” He was born to a wealthy English family in Barbados and in 1717 he decided to become a pirate. He did meet Captain Blackbeard whose real name was Edward Teach in the Bahamas. And they did team up to pillage and plunder other ships along the eastern coast of the U.S. Whether he had a romantic relationship with Blackbeard or not is uncertain.

David Jenkins, the creator, said that pirates weren’t really his “bag” but the idea of someone in what he called “existential freefall” like Stede Bonnet was fascinating to him. The fact that Stede was a wealthy landowner in an unhappy marriage who just wanted to leave it all was really appealing.  

About it being a love story, Jenkins said, “It’s show about falling in love more than it’s a show about people’s reaction to gayness in that era.” And he added that so often, shows about gay romance are really about gay trauma. And Our Flag Means Death is more about romance.

Key Takeaways

What B2B Companies Can Learn From Our Flag Means Death:

  • Hire a crew that’s better than you. Get people on board who have skills and knowledge your company needs. Even if - and especially if - they’re better or more experienced than you. They will only be an asset to your growth. Mariah says, “Stede is completely incompetent as a pirate, and he hires a crew that is marginally better than him. But they all come together and they get the job done.”
  • Muscle memory is killing your marketing strategy. Yes, it’s good to market in a way that you know works. But after a while, it just gets stale. Mariah says, “So many times, we kind of get this muscle memory and do things the same way over and over again. It's hard to break out of that. Be brave and try new things. And if something's not working, it's okay to start over.” Though Stede Bonnet was not always brave, it’s in starting his new life as a pirate that he goes on a journey of self-discovery. And that’s pretty brave, in the end.
  • Fly your human flag. Drop the high tech facade, and be human. Write like a human, and include pictures of your customers and employees. Mariah says, “Being vulnerable and authentic is something that we don't do enough of and B2B marketing in general. We don’t humanize our companies. I'm in the AI space, and it's all these super high tech terms. We can talk about productivity and all this stuff, but really we're speaking to human beings. And so I think that that ability to be vulnerable and really speak to people is something that we can learn from this show.” Our Flag Means Death shows the vulnerable side of their male characters, which you would have never seen in something like Treasure Island, which was all swashbuckling machismo. In this show, the crew read each other stories and are encouraged to talk about their feelings. It sucks viewers into the story and results in their investment in the characters.

*What are the stories we're telling that are building that trust? Where are we helping people right now when they really need it without asking anything else of them in that moment? And being patient and knowing that the efforts that we're putting into it right now are leading to that moment and of change, of making that purchase and influencing those decisions?” - Mariah Petrovic

*”Messaging is the foundation of everything at a company. It's the way we talk about ourselves. It's consistency in storytelling. It's your website and your social and everything else. So getting it right, putting it out into the world, and really defining who we are as an organization is something that is really exciting.” - Mariah Petrovic

Episode Highlights


Watch Our Flag Means Death

Connect with Mariah on LinkedIn

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About Remarkable!

Remarkable! is created by the team at Caspian Studios, the premier B2B Podcast-as-a-Service company. Caspian creates both nonfiction and fiction series for B2B companies. If you want a fiction series check out our new offering - The Business Thriller - Hollywood style storytelling for B2B. Learn more at

In today’s episode, you heard from Ian Faison (CEO of Caspian Studios) and Meredith Gooderham (Senior Producer). Remarkable was produced this week by Meredith Gooderham, mixed by Scott Goodrich, and our theme song is “Solomon” by FALAK.

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