If you want to make a big impact in a 15-second ad, there’s one trick of the trade that instantly gets an emotional response: place your ad in a relatable setting.
It could be the DMV, an airport, or a drive through —what matters is that it’s a place your audience has been to. They know what it’s like getting a bad driver’s license photo, or struggling to find an outlet to charge your phone while you wait for a connecting flight. By putting your story in a familiar setting, you don’t need to do very much explaining – and you can capitalize on those precious seconds to highlight your message.
This week, we’re talking about Mean Girls. Mean Girls is a perfect example of what it means to have a relevant, reminiscent setting. In this episode of REMARKABLE, we talk about how to do the same in your B2B marketing.
Why Mean Girls?
Mean Girls is a modern classic that introduced the word "fetch" into our vocabulary. But we picked it for this week's episode because it's an excellent example of a film taking a common setting and building off it. You know what setting we're talking about: high school. The movie's production design evokes the all-too-familiar feel of the American high school. But it's not just that; it's also the scenes in the movie as well. We’re talking about high school — the physical place as well as the experience. Mean Girls perfectly captures both, so you watch the movie and go, “I’ve been there. I know what that’s like.” The high school feels familiar because it’s pretty generic. Everything from the hallways and lockers to the cafeteria and classrooms in the movie look like ones in real high schools across the U.S. But it’s more than that — it’s the experience of going to a new school, trying to make friends, having crushes, getting bullied…there’s something for everyone.
Did you know that Mean Girls is based on a self-help book? That’s right, Tina Fey wrote the screenplay after reading Queen Bees & Wannabes: Helping Your Daughter Survive Cliques, Gossip, Boyfriends & Other Realities of Adolescence by Rosalind Wiseman. The book was written for parents who wanted to help their teen daughters better navigate the social complexities at school. Fey took key components of the high school experience from the book, along with unforgettable characters and a juicy plot, and Mean Girls was born.
Mean Girls became a state-of-the-art classic because of how Tina Fey elevated the high school genre. With her cutting sense of humor and subversive voice, she made Mean Girls one of the most quotable and enduring of its kind.
A Quick Mean Girls Refresher
Mean Girls tells the story of Cady Heron, who gets her first taste of public high school after her scientist parents move from Africa to the Chicago suburbs. Outcasts Janis and Damien show Cady the ropes, but Cady winds up going her own way. Despite her friends’ warnings, she is drawn into the cool girl clique, “The Plastics,” led by Regina George. Cady finds out how cutthroat The Plastics truly are after making the mistake of falling for Regina’s ex. So Cady, Janis and Damien plot to bring on Regina’s downfall.
What B2B Companies Can Learn From Mean Girls:
*”If you only have 15 or 30 seconds in the age of TikTok to grab somebody, if you're leaning into something that people know, to establish a setting, a time, a place, then you free up your runway to talk about the things that you really want to get across because those things are already built in.” - Dane Eckerle
*”When it comes to setting, it's about being really relatable but also super relevant to your audience. When B2B marketers split up their target audience into personas, for example, know that they're people first, and more than just personas. They’re professionals who want to make better impressions and build stronger relationships. You have to be relatable to sell to them as a marketer, but also show your true self and be authentic. And I think that comes with knowing exactly the groups that they’re in and what they care about.“ - Anagha Das
Remarkable! is created by the team at Caspian Studios, the premier B2B Podcast-as-a-Service company. Caspian creates both non-fiction 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 CaspianStudios.com.
In today’s episode, you heard from Ian Faison (CEO of Caspian Studios), Dane Eckerle (Head of Development), Colin Stamps (Podcast Launch Manager), Anagha Das (B2B Content Marketing Manager), and Meredith O’Neil (Senior Producer). Remarkable was produced this week by Meredith O’Neil, mixed by Scott Goodrich, and our theme song is “Solomon” by FALAK.
Create something remarkable. Rise above the noise.