If you watch Christmas movies this time of year, you’re not alone. A survey of American households by Statista.com says 60 percent of respondents watched at least one Christmas film with family during the holidays. According to YouGov.com, the most popular Christmas movies are Home Alone, It’s a Wonderful Life, A Christmas Story, Elf, and my favorite — National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.
The hero of Christmas Vacation is Clark Griswald (Chevy Chase). Clark is determined to show his family a fun-filled, old-fashioned Christmas.
It took 30+ years of viewing, but I finally realized he and the other characters were actually teaching us key marketing principles in fact, lines from the movie are easily converted into the key lesson. See the 23 key marketing lessons and the corresponding quotes from Christmas Vacation below:
Lesson #1: Find out what customers want and don’t want.
Movie Quote: “I don’t want to spend the holidays dead!” — Ellen
Lesson #2: Double-check all copy to avoid mistakes.
Movie Quote: “Eat my rubber!” — Clark Griswold
Lesson #3: Clarify your positioning.
Movie Quote: “Clark! We’re stuck under a truck!” — Ellen
Lesson #4: Reframe the description of the product or service to add value.
Movie Quote:“ It’s not big, it’s just…full.” -Clark
Lesson #5: Add value to the customer’s experience.
Movie Quote: “Clark, Audrey’s frozen from the waist down.” -Ellen “ Ah, it’s all part of the experience honey” -Clark
Lesson #6: Listen to Your Customers.
Movie Quote: “Do you hear it? It’s a funny, squeaky sound!” — Aunt Bethany
Lesson #7: Expect and accept some criticism from customers.
Movie Quote: “The little lights are not twinkling.” — Grandpa Art
Lesson #8: Answer customer questions honestly.
Movie Quote: ” And why is the carpet all wet Todd?” -Margo “I don’t know Margo!” -Todd
Lesson #9: Explain changes customers notice.
Movie Quote: “That’s somethin’, ain’t it? She falls in a well, eyes go crossed. She gets kicked by a mule, they go back to normal. I don’t know.” -Eddie
Lesson #10: Encourage workforce education.
Movie Quote: “The older boy, bless his soul, is preparing for his career.” -Eddie “College?” -Clark. “Carnival.” -Eddie
Lesson #11: Apologize quickly for mistakes.
Movie Quote: “I’m sorry, this is our family’s first kidnapping.” -Ellen
Lesson #12: Be thankful for mentors.
Movie Quote: “Dad, you taught me everything I know about exterior illumination.” — Clark
Lesson #13: Consider offering a subscription service.
Movie Quote: “It’s, it’s, it’s, a one-year membership in the jelly-of-the-month club.” -Clark “Clark, that’s the gift that keeps on giving the whole year. “-Eddie
Lesson #14: Offer to do something extra.
Movie Quote: “Can I refill your eggnog for you? Get you something to eat? Drive you out to the middle of nowhere and leave you for dead?” — Clark
Lesson #15: Negotiate carefully for media deals.
Movie Quote:“He took my house, I took the RV.” — Eddie
Lesson #16: Provide warnings and alerts as needed.
Movie Quote: “You better take a rain check on that, Art—he’s got a lip fungus they ain’t identified yet.” — Eddie
Lesson #17: Make your objectives clear.
Movie Quote: “I was just looking at something for my wife, God rest her soul.” — Clark
Lesson #18: Seek a consensus of opinion.
Movie Quote:“ Can’t see the line, can ya, Russ?” — Clark
Lesson #19: Recognize and use unsolicited testimonials.
Movie Quote: “I love it here. You don’t got to put on your coat to go to the bathroom, and your house is always parked in the same place.” -Ruby Sue
Lesson #20: Watch for anything unusual.
Movie Quote: “Mom, this box is meowing.” -Rusty
Lesson #21: Build a tribe with shared experiences.
Movie Quote: “I’m not sure what to say, except it’s Christmas and we’re all in misery.” -Ellen
Lesson #22: Give lots of thought to new strategies.
Movie Quote: “I don’t know if I oughta go sailing down no hill with nothing between the ground and my brain but a piece of government plastic. “-Eddie
Lesson #23: Explain why you are doing things.
Movie Quote: “Shi**er’s full. -Eddie