The Never Ending Quest for Quotability and Immortality

Whether or not you agree that a level of narcissism underlies most social media, the fact remains that pretty much anyone who goes through the effort to shape a thought into 140 characters and Tweet it does that with an implied hope that it will be deemed worthy of retweeting by someone, somewhere.  Twitter is built on sharing and so the idea that someone might validate your content fuels the participation on that very public platform.

But while it’s never been more immediately obvious. this phenomenon is not unique to social media.  Back in the pre-viral, pre-socially-networked ’90’s, we specifically recorded multiple dialogue options whenever we shot Bud Light spots with the hopes that one of those lines would–in the words of advertising creative and pundit Bob Merlotti–become a “popular culture catchphrase.”  And so phrases like “Yes I am” and “I love you man” became part of the culture, passed along on barstools and softball fields and even–in a few wonderful, halcyon moments–Letterman monologues.  Being quoted by others was and remains a very valid means of extending your brand message through a viral person-to-person network of individuals who find your idea worthy of sharing.

Bet You Know What He's Saying...
Bet You Know What He's Saying...

Which brings me to this wonderful YouTube piece a fan pieced together from the American Film Institute’s list of the 100 top movie quotes in history.  It’s ten minutes long, but the percentage of quotes even a passing movie fan will recognize is extraordinary.  These bits of movie dialogue form a shared cultural reference point for all of us.  We recognize them because at one time or another, we’ve quoted them ourselves.  The sheer volume of memorable quotes from across decades will amaze you with how a few simple nouns, verbs and adjectives can achieve immortality when uttered in just the right context.

Great brands have sharable stories–thoughts that merit passing along to others outside of paid media.  If it’s worth saying, it’s certainly worth saying memorably.  Enjoy the clip.

By Dennis Ryan, CCO, Element 79

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