As a copywriter, or a person to whom copywriting (and therefore language) is important, you must watch this movie.
Consider it your mandatory, you-don’t-pass-my-class-unless-you-do-it homework from Teacher Chelsea.
I’ll go ahead an tell you: this post contains some spoilers, but I don’t think they’ll ruin the movie for you.
I mean, even in the previews, you kind of get the sense that everything’s going to be okay in the end… so there’s the first spoiler of the day.
But seriously, there’s so many cathartic components about language and emotion in that film that I just can’t wait until I can buy it and watch it over and over and over again.
For example, I totally figured out why they named the aliens Abbott & Costello… and felt super damn smug about it, too.
But here’s what we learn from this movie that we can apply to our copywriting and our businesses… to make us better, to make our customers better, and to ultimately make the world a better place:
Language & Emotion Are Universal
As in, we all use language and we all feel emotion.
In this case, we see that they’re literally universal as the aliens are far more human-like than they are Spock-like with their appeal for help, sharing, and problem-solving.
But even in the realm of humanity: we all feel.
And to ignore that, as you see in the movie, is just silly.
So to get someone on the same page with you and to work with you to solve a problem or for a better future, you’ve got to drop the mask, show who you really are, and not be afraid to share some emotion back and forth.
Because as great as logic is… ain’t no good problem-solving going happen until you’ve got that warmth and trust factor to build upon.
We Are All The Same
There really is no “us” and “them.”
We see that in the end of the movie, when Costello (one of the aliens) is either dead or dying, there’s an exchange of sympathy from Louise and a general sense that we all know what it feels like to lose someone close to us, how much it genuinely sucks, and how much we hate that others have to go through it too.
So pretending that there’s some sort of line between me and you because I’m “the blogger” here and you’re “the reader” is just silly.
Sure, I’m the one that wrote this and you’re the one that’s reading it, but to pretend like we’re on different levels because of that is just atrocious.
Same goes for you and your audience.
Or dare I say, students and teachers in the education system.
Or, you know, politicians and the people they represent.
We’re all the same.
And only when we start treating each other like that will there be true progress.
So, in copywriting, talk to your readers like they’re your equals if you really want your words to matter for something.
We MUST Work Together
One of my favorite things about the movie actually didn’t have that much to do with language.
It was how it outlined so plainly how atrocious it is that we as humans on earth have borders that allow us to classify “us” and “them” and decide how we want to work together with others.
Or if we want to work with them at all… and who we should actively work against.
Omg, writers and directors of this work of art…. #PREACH.
But bringing it back to copywriting and running a business, I think it’s about making sure you have a WHY that’s greater than the actual work you do to show up and hack away at your goals everyday.
Because as much as I love copywriting, copywriting is not my why.
It took me a while to figure out how to put words to my why, to be honest with you, so if you’re still there… no worries. You’ll find it, I promise. Just keep following your heart.
But my “why” is this: To help myself and others retire early and live better, more meaningful lives.
Why else would I be so obsessed with price?
It sure isn’t to buy fancy nail polish or overly nice clothes.
I’m writing this post right now wearing 10 year-old yoga pants from Old Navy, a 5 year-old hoodie, and Pepto-Bismol-colored fuzzy socks. A fashionista I am not.
BUT I know what I’m working for and what I want to help others work for. It’s why I’m so obsessed with premium image and premium pricing, because those things equal more money.
And I’m not about making more money for the greed of it, I’m about making more money because you can use that stuff to do things like buy a house, pay it off in full, save for your child’s education, donate to worthy causes, and basically free up your time so you’re not working for the dollar anymore, but instead working for your heart.
Which I think we can all agree is EXACTLY what this world needs.
So find your why and use it to work TOGETHER with others, will you?
Oh, and… have you seen the movie? What did you think?