Five Marketing Lessons from the Late, Great Harold Ramis


The comedy world lost one of its true guiding lights when Harold Ramis passed away recently. Ramis was a comedians’ comedian directing classic comedies like “Caddyshack” and “Groundhog Day,” and starring in films like “Stripes” and “Ghostbusters.” If you saw a comedy you loved between 1978 and 1993, there’s a very good chance that Ramis had a hand in it. Ramis was a very, very successful content creator, and content marketers can take away many lessons from his work.

“My characters aren’t losers. They’re rebels. They win by their refusal to play by everyone else’s rules.”

As marketers, it’s important to be familiar with the rules of your industry. However, it is just as important to realize that you need to follow your own rules and do what’s best for you and your brand.

“I’ve been directing for 25 years almost and I’ve only directed nine films in that time because I like to be careful.”

Quality always beats quantity when it comes to your campaigns. Instead of trying to do a little bit of everything, focus on just a few campaigns, and make them really, really good.

“I feel an obligation to the audience, almost in a moral sense, to say something useful. If I’m going to spend a year of my life on these things, I want something that I feel strongly about.”

All of your marketing needs to be something your audience wants to see, read, or hear. If your marketing efforts are not useful, inspiring, or entertaining, than you will never engage anyone.

“The cutting room is where you discover the optimal length of the movie.”

Sometimes editing ourselves is the best thing we can do as marketers. Once you have your marketing content ready to go, really take a look at it, and edit it down. Can you say what you need to say in fewer words? If yes, then do it.

“I always feel like the writer has done 90 percent of the director’s work.”

Your campaigns will only be as successful as your creative work is good. When you put together a marketing organization, you need the best creatives, writers, artists, etc. that you can get. If your creative content is great, your marketing efforts will be great too.

Harold Ramis isn’t the only filmmaker we’ve found content creation tips from. The Muppets have taught us to rethink Instagram, and “The Lego Movie” has given us blockbuster content marketing tips.