Chronicle claimed to be a found-footage (think: Blair Witch Project) superhero movie. That pitch sounded to me like a lame studio trying to capitalize on the superhero craze with a crappy, low-budget movie. As a lifelong comic book fan, I decided not to support this atrocity. Because, in short, of the marketing.
Then, a few months ago, I discovered a video on YouTube. The writer of Chronicle basically drinks whiskey and rants about The Death and Return of Superman, a 90’s comic book plot arc in which Superman dies and then a bunch of people claiming to be him show up. It’s old news that most people don’t care about, but I had been really into that series at the time…so I watched the whole thing.
It’s not a perfect video, but you can tell that he’s passionate about it and it's clear he understands what does and doesn’t work in a comic book story.
Watching this video (which in no way pitched Chronicle, as far as I remember) convinced me to give the movie a try. I now had a human connection, and I trusted this human. I rented it from iTunes and watched it on my recent trip to visit UserVoice customers in New York. And you know what? I really enjoyed it. Honestly. And I paid the studio $4 to rent it.
Companies have this weird idea that they need to seem professional and monolithic. They discuss their company like they have hundreds of employees and neve rmake mistakes. They write press releases instead of just telling people things. They agonize over what their CEO should say in an interview.
I know you want to feel special (so do we), but this is foolish. People almost always would rather pay money to people who they like. People don't feel comfortable talking to an inanimate object. Show your face. Show your style. Show the people behind the product…and you’ll make money.