Different vs Better

One year back, I was creating a TV trailer for a crime thriller feature, and when discussing the concept with the feature editor she insisted on having a certain shot in the trailer: “These wooden stick figures, they’re like the ones in The Blair Witch Project, that’ll help sell the thing.”

Except that the whole feature had nothing else in common with The Blair Witch Project. Whenever there’s something in your product that’s a reference to another product, you really need to question hard if that reference will do any good, because people can easily distinguish between “same but different” and “same but better”. And they choose accordingly.

[Just to tell the end: For me the only selling point were the two main actors. I’ll leave it to you to make up why the feature went successful.]

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