REMARKABLE /
EPISODE #2
How to Bring Together an All-Star Ensemble: B2B Marketing Lessons from Ocean’s 11

The word “ensemble” might make you think of a group of performers all working in tandem. But what happens when we apply it to B2B marketing?

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Episode Summary

The word “ensemble” might make you think of a group of performers all working in tandem. But what happens when we apply it to B2B marketing?

In 2001, an ensemble of all-star actors outdid any other cast…maybe ever.

George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts, Matt Damon, Andy Garcia, Don Cheadle, Bernie Mac, Casey Affleck – actors at the top of their game.

Each one could draw their own crowd. But together? They’re unstoppable.

Add in the sparkling backdrop of the Vegas strip and the tension of a high-stakes heist, and you have yourself a blockbuster.

That blockbuster is Ocean’s 11, and it upped the ante for what a star-studded ensemble could be.

In this episode of REMARKABLE, we take a look at the power of the ensemble in Ocean’s 11 and how you can use it in your B2B marketing.

The house always wins. Unless you bring together a powerful ensemble. And today we’re taking the house with some B2B tips on bringing together an ensemble of high rolling sharks.

Why Ocean’s 11?

Alright, so we all love Ocean’s 11. But why’d we pick it for this week’s Remarkable episode?

Because of the insanely hot cast – and we aren’t just talking about their cheekbones. Ocean’s 11 is packed with the best of the best, including George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Julia Roberts, Bernie Mac, Eddie Jemison, Casey Affleck, Don Cheadle, Carl Reiner, Elliot Gould, and Andy Garcia. Even Viola Davis makes a cameo – well, sort of. Remember Danny Ocean’s exit interview from the prison scene? Viola Davis voices the officer. Any of those actors featured in a film would sell out opening night at the movie theater. But all of them billed together is unprecedented!

Aside from the star-studded cast, the characters they play have huge personalities of their own. The eleven-character ensemble of criminals boasts a myriad of talents, from pick-pocketing to con-artistry to speed racing. In other words, they have all the important skills needed to pull off a heist.

A Quick Ocean’s 11 Refresher

In case you’ve been living under a rock for the past few decades…

Ocean’s 11 is a heist movie about a string of Las Vegas casino robberies. The OG movie was filmed in 1960 and starred Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis, Jr.

It was remade in 2001, with a cast just as star-studded as the original. The film was one of the biggest hits of the year, bringing in over $450 million in box office. But it wasn’t just the cast that made the movie such a success. Behind the scenes, the craftsmanship was just as impressive. Ocean’s 11 was directed by Steven Soderbergh, who had just become one of only three directors to be nominated twice for Best Director in the same year (he won the Oscar for directing Traffic and “lost” for directing Erin Brockovich). It’s a classic movie formula: an amazing cast + a director at the top of his game = instant classic.

Who’s Who?

Danny Ocean: The Mastermind (George Clooney)

Rusty Ryan: The Right-Hand Man (Brad Pitt)

Tess Ocean: The Love Interest (Julia Roberts)

The Malloy Brothers: The Drivers (Casey Affleck & Scott Caan)

Livingston Dell: Electronics (Eddie Jemiston)

Basher Tarr: Munitions  (Don Cheadle)

The Amazing Yen: The Grease Man (Shaobo Qin)

Linus Caldwell: The Pickpocket (Matt Damon)

Frank Catton: The Casino Employee (Bernie Mac)

Reuben Tishkoff: The Bankroll (Elliott Gould)

Saul Bloom: The Con Artist (Carl Reiner)

Pick Your Teams Carefully

Why do we connect so much with the characters in Ocean’s 11?

Their backstories and skillsets are both distinct and relatable, a combination that helps us empathize with them. But Danny Ocean has also picked a team that compliments each other perfectly. Each character brings a unique set of skills to the table that no other character can do –  imagine if Linus tried to pull off one of The Amazing Yen’s stunts! The characters each have their special talents, and they work well together. That’s what makes them a great team, and it’s why people who’ve watched this movie across the globe root for them.

The cast also has amazing chemistry. While watching Ocean’s 11, we wonder – who in our own friends and family is our Danny Ocean, the smooth-talking romantic? We all know rambunctious brothers like the Malloys – and we all wish we knew Don Cheadle!

But we relate to characters in movies all the time. Heck, that’s what makes a great movie! But creating chemistry on screen takes intention, effort, and talent. It’s not just the actors working together – it’s the writing, the directing, the costume design, the editing…all of it comes together to create what we in B2B would call a high-value touch point. And the strength of the connections onscreen is what makes this film  Remarkable.

Key Takeaways

What B2B Companies Can Learn From Ocean’s 11:

  • Make characters for the personas you’re marketing to. There’s a team member for everyone among the Ocean’s 11 crew. Whether you like the Malloy brothers because they’re jokesters or you relate to Linus Caldwell because he goes against the grain, there’s a character in here for everyone to latch onto. Plus they all have a robust, shared history, which makes them feel more real. So, how’s this applicable to your B2B marketing? For your next campaign, make characters or personas your customers can identify with. Progressive does a great job creating characters to bring their business to life in their ads. They have Flo, their staple insurance spokeswoman; Dr. Rick, a parental life coach who advises people on buying homes; and other characters who tell Progressive’s story. Salesforce is a B2B company that creates characters for their brand narrative, and they’ve created characters so recognizable that people line up to take photos with life-sized versions of them at Dreamforce! That’s the power of harnessing storytelling in B2B marketing – by creating characters that speak to your audience, you have the opportunity to create powerful brand loyalty.
  • Build the best team. Find people who are specialists in their field to fulfill their role in your project or marketing team. Did you know The Amazing Yen, played by Shaobo Qin, was discovered while performing with the Peking Acrobats? Ocean’s 11 was his first acting role. Crazy, right?! In other words, no stunt double required – he actually pulled off that flip in the vault to avoid setting off any sensors near the floor. This casting is a perfect example of finding the right actor and also finding the right role within the heist team. The bottom line: In your B2B marketing, match each of your team member’s strengths to their role, and you can successfully pull off any project.
  • Create a sense of purpose. Danny Ocean and Rusty Ryan bring together their team around a sole mission: a massive heist. Together, they go over the plan and each of their roles within it. Because there’s a reward for successful completion of the mission (about $13M each), it motivates each of them to do their part. There’s also a major caveat that if any one of them messes up, no one will get paid (and worse). So bring your team together around a clear mission with defined roles for each member of the team. Define a shared set of KPIs with clear expectations and work together to achieve your goals.
Quotes

*”There's a lot of different ways there that B2B companies can pull from A-list talent or just creating an ensemble, by having these different characters tell the story of your brand” - Anagha Das

*“There's a cool opportunity [for] a business to make an ad where they have their own characters and there's like a story that they build with each one. B2B companies can do the same concept with their personas and create a character based on each persona. Similar to Ocean’s 11, they can even incorporate some of those cinematic storytelling aspects and play that out among the characters.” - Colin Stamps

Episode Highlights

Links

Watch Ocean’s 11

Check out the Salesforce characters

Take a look at Duolingo on TikTok

Meet Dr. Rick, Flo, and more at Progressive.com

And here’s the Old Spice guy

Look at how State Farm is partnering with athletes

About Remarkable!

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.