By Luke Sklar and Amber Hudson

Welcome to the Everything is Marketing blog.   Our mission is to prove to you that every single issue in life, every topical person, story or event, has a marketing lesson.  And we challenge you to defy this premise.   So come on, weigh in on the discussion, share your thoughts and ideas, agree or disagree, we want to hear from you. 

Here are the 10 highest grossing films worldwide in 2010, in rank order of box office total. 

  1. Toy Story 3 (sequel)                                          
  2. Alice in Wonderland (remake)
  3. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 (sequel)
  4. Inception  (new)
  5. Shrek Forever After (sequel)
  6. The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (sequel)
  7. Iron Man 2 (sequel)
  8. Despicable Me (new)
  9. How to Train Your Dragon (based on books)
  10. Clash of the Titans (remake)


What struck me was the number of truly new ideas:  there are two.  TWO!  Five are sequels, two are remakes and How to Train Your Dragon is based on a series of books.  What, doesn’t anyone have a decent idea for a new movie?  Has Hollywood hit creative rock-bottom?  Well, it shouldn’t come as a surprise I suppose.  Going to the movies is expensive and involves a couple hours away from your email/Facebook/Twitter account (at least it should). So movie goers want a sure thing.  In fact, the movie theatres and the movie companies want a sure thing.  The same is true for product innovation.  90% of successful innovations are knock offs.   Sure, we’d all welcome a successful innovative idea.  But more often than not, big new ideas demand big new budgets. 

So what’s the marketing lesson?  You don’t need the Holy Grail.  And let’s face it, you may not have the time, the budget, or the company culture to launch an expedition to find it.  So spend your company resources wisely by bringing fresh energy to your brand, the one you truly know and love.  In other words, don’t get bored of your wife or husband; just make what you’ve got with them even better.