“Don Corleone, I am honored and grateful that you have invited me to your daughter… daughter’s wedding… on the day of your daughter’s wedding. And I hope their first child be a masculine child. I pledge my ever-ending loyalty.”
One of my favorite things about watching movies is learning the behind the scenes secrets of my favorites. I’m the type of guy who actually listens to the director commentaries on the DVD extras because I’m cool like that. Throughout my many years of collecting interesting tidbits about this movie and that movie, I have gathered quite a list of behind the scenes stories and one of my favorite stories comes from one of my favorite movies.
The character of Luca Brasi in Mario Puzo’s classic The Godfather is described as slow-witted, brutish and overwhelmingly loyal; so when Francis Ford Coppola had the task of casting the character for his film, it wasn’t surprising when he cast the Italian-born wrestler Lenny Montana.
Lenny had never acted before and was quite nervous about filming his first scene with the great Marlon Brando, so he spent most of his time on set nervously rehearsing his lines for his one main scene. One day, Coppola saw Montana rehearsing and secretly filmed him and edited it into the movie. It has become one of the most recognizable scenes in The Godfather.
Just because something isn’t planned or may be seen as “rough” doesn’t mean that it is useless or a mistake. You can have the best marketing strategy laid out before you, your tactics all in a row; and then something unforeseen happens. What do you do? Your first instinct might be to dismiss it and just stick to the plan, but I’d advice you to slow down and take a hard look at what you have now. It might just be your Luca.
I have three suggestions for your team when your working on campaigns. Three “Keeps” to finding your Luca:
1. Keep your eyes open – This one is pretty self-explanatory, but it’s very important. Always be on the lookout for anything that might add value to whatever project you are working on.
2. Keep a notebook handy – I prefer Moleskin notebooks myself, but just keep something handy that you can take notes on or on which you can actually draw connections between what you’re doing and your true campaign goals (you may be surprised how helpful a rough sketch can be).
3. Keep an open mind – This is probably the most important “Keep.” No matter what comes your way, always keep your marketing mind working to see if your situation can benefit your campaign.
Post-It Notes, Fireworks, the microwave oven and even Play-Doh were all discovered by accident, but they had smart enough people behind them to not toss the mistake in the trash and keep working “on the plan.” They had people who kept their marketing minds open for possible Luca’s, and you can find yours too.
We might not all create The Godfather our first time out, but neither did Francis Ford Coppola. He just learned to always keep his eyes open and if we keep our eyes open then maybe, just maybe, we can find something amazing too.