Self promotion

Owen Wilson starred in a really bad movie that came out a few months ago. Most notable: he didn’t go out to shill for it. No Colbert, no Daily Show, no Larry King.

Perhaps he’s nursing a bad cold, but my guess is that he didn’t want to extend his personal brand to promote a movie just because he was in it.

Here’s an interesting dichotomy:

Watch this because I’m in it
I’m in it because you’ll enjoy watching it.


I published a book so I need you to read it
There’s something you need to read, so I wrote about it.


I’m fifty and I just made an album because it was time for me to make one.
These songs won’t let go of me and I want to share them with you because they matter.

The first is me-centric and explains that we’re promoting something that got made because we need to sell it. What we do is make stuff and sell it, and what you do is buy it or watch it.  “I needed to make something to sell, here’s the best I could do.”

The second is you-centric. It starts with the needs and desires of the consumer and ignores the committees, the compromises and the economic realities. It says, “I found something for you, here it is.”

Most of the time, most b2b and most consumer products are sold on the basis of: Yes, there are other choices, but this is the one we make. I’m not sure that’s a good enough reason.

80% of the mail and promotion I get (and 98% of the ads) fall into this category. The enthusiasm of commerce, not of belief and pride.

[Apologies if I’ve given Owen motivations that weren’t accurate. Readers have let me know about his recent troubles, and I certainly meant no disrespect.]