Marketing Hack #3: Become a mind changer 

 May 4, 2015

By  Pascal Depuhl

Mind Changer–what the heck is that?

You’ve heard of game changers, ever heard about a mind changer? Sometimes great things just happen – a while back, I had the opportunity to premiere a rough cut of “On Wings of Hope” at a local university. During the planning of the event, I was told that the university wanted to poll the students in real time, before and after the film. Sounded like fun, however the benefit of this would not become clear to me until after the screening was done.

Live polling via text and twitter of studio and virtual audience
Live polling via text and twitter of studio and virtual audience

We all have been affected by movies we watch. Some inspire us, others bring us to tears. What I have never gotten is quantifiable feedback from a group that watched my work. I was about to …

How this worked

As about 100 students file into the lecture hall, they are given a few questions. Then they are given a phone number to text to or a twitter hashtag to tweet to. Before the film starts, they tweet or text in their answers, so that the professors can get a baseline. Fortunately I had asked the faculty to include the question for me: [nextpage title=”more”]

What do you think about when you heat Afghanistan?” Here are their answers. If you don’t know how a wordle or word cloud works, the bigger the word, the more people gave that answer.

Wordle, displaying the size of the word in proportion to how often it was used.
Wordle, displaying the size of the word in proportion to how often it was used.

I showed the 15 minute movie and the same questions are asked directly after the screening is finished. As the ‘After’ wordle flashes up on the screen in real time, I can’t believe what I just got: 100 data points of how my movie has impacted the minds of the students. (Check out my blog post called “How to change 100 minds in 15 minutes” to see the wordle with the answers they gave after the movie. It’s gonna blow you away.)

This Marketing Hack is valuable, because …

What’s the value of knowing what 100 people thought before you show them a movie? None, but if you can measure how they felt after you showed them the film, that information is incredibly insightful. Today I show my clients those two word clouds. If I can change 100 minds in 15 minutes, what do they think I can do for their product or service by creating mind-changing-visual-content? And how many of my competition have similar data? (Hint: none.) Get some data on the effect of your work and use it to change your clients minds about you.

The result:

Clients want results and being able to show them a real world example of how video can impact perceptions and behavior is invaluable. This experience was also the underlying story I told during my TEDx talk “The Art of Changing Minds” and I get to introduce myself as a mind changer, if someone asks what I do for a living. People always stop dead in their tracks and ask me to tell them more – yet another opportunity to burn my brand into their brain.


PS: Check out Marketing Hack #25: I’ll tell you about the how I got to present a TEDx talk.

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Pascal Depuhl

Miami product photographer, video producer, cinematographer and chief mindchanger at Photography by Depuhl I love to share the knowledge I've gained over the past two decades. Catching light in motion.