A Marketing Lesson From Michael Jackson's This Is It Film

Deconstruction is a powerful idea. All it means is taking an experience or something real and breaking it down into its individual components. Deconstructing helps you to understand something. Deconstructing tells a story. I remember the first time I saw the movie Amadeus, the Oscar winning dramatization of the life of Mozart, there was one scene that stayed with me. It was the composer Salieri describing (and deconstructing) the music of Mozart:

It helped me to understand classical music in a way I had never thought about. This weekend, as I watched the memorial documentary of Michael Jackson's planned concert tour, This Is It, I thought about that same feeling. The moment of watching something that was deconstructing a vision and a story that I hadn't quite realized the significance of until that moment. This Is It has been getting rave reviews since coming out last week and has already crossed the $100 million mark. Some are already anticipating that it is Oscar-worthy. Here's the preview, in case you haven't seen or heard about it:

What made the film most powerful for me was one moment when Michael was working with his band and rehearsing the length of a pause in a song – encouraging them to "let it simmer." Then the music was brought together with the filmed visuals that were done on a green screen and you saw how the pieces interacted. The film deconstructed the concert that never was, and gave you a vision of what it would have been.

It would be easy to write a marketing post about how this movie has been promoted and perhaps even criticize how it is turning Michael Jackson's death into a venue for moneymaking. The most powerful marketing idea I will take away from the film and experience, however, is the real power of deconstructing an experience to give people an inside look and emotional attachment to it. Deconstruction helped me understand the power of classical music, and the genius of Michael Jackson. The same concept could work equally well for deconstructing a cause such as the fight against Pneumonia and World Pneumonia Day, or sharing the vision behind an inspired marketing campaign. How could deconstruction help your marketing?

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