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3 lessons your brand can learn from Crazy Heart


Last weekend, I took in Crazy Heart with my lovely wife. I loved it. From the music (I’m an old-school country fan, among many other musical choices) to the acting (Bridges and Gyllenhaal were amazing) to the story, it was definitely an Oscar-worthy movie on a few different fronts (as evidenced by the awards it won last night).

But, as my wife and I rehashed the movie afterward, I couldn’t help reflect on the lessons I took away from the film. Lessons brands would be wise to heed as well:

* Music can be a powerful, powerful tool. One of my favorite sports writers, Bill Simmons, has an expression: “It’s getting dusty in here.” It’s his way of letting his readers know when he’s teared up in a movie. Well, in the final scene as Bridges reflected back on his mistakes as he discovered what might have been his true love, Gyllenhaal, has married another, well, it got a little dusty in that theater for me. Part of it was the moment, yes. But, part of it was the song, too. It was the title track to the movie, and it’s a damn good track (check out the trailer below–I still get chills watching it). It tugged at your heartstrings and played on your emotions. What does this mean for your brand? How can you use music to play to the emotions of your fans and customers?

* A good story can make or break your brand (or, movie). You know you’ve seen a good movie when the two hours goes by just like that. When you’re so wrapped up in the story and the characters that you lose all track of time. That’s exactly what happened for me in that movie theater last weekend. A good story is critical to building a brand your customers and fans can be passionate about. Give them a story worth retelling–and they will share it. Believe me, I’m going to be retelling the Crazy Heart story for weeks to come.

* It’s never too late. Robert Duvall had the signature line of the movie when he said, “It’s never too late.” He was referring to the fact that it wasn’t too late for Bridges (Bad Blake) to reconnect with his estranged son of 25 years. Just like it wasn’t too late for him to get sober, which Bridges did at the tail end of the movie and seemingly transformed his life. For brands, the message is the same: It’s never too late. To transform your brand. To protect your brand reputation in a crisis (ask Dominos). To experiment with a new approach or tool. Even if you do miss the bus the first time around, you can always go back and repair what has been destroyed or harmed. It’s never too late.

Have you seen Crazy Heart? If yes, what lessons could you draw from this movie for your brand?

Note: Photo credit-Lorey Sebastian



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