George Lucas, creator of the Star Wars series of classic films, was complimentary about the storytelling in Mel Brooks’ Star Wars spoof (which was titled Spaceballs, released in 1987).
After Lucas saw a screening of Spaceballs, he sent what Brooks recalled was a “lovely note”:“
It’s dangerous comedy. I was afraid I would bust something from laughing.”
Getting permission to make the lampoon version of such an iconic series of films was incredibly easy for Brooks…before and after Lucas saw the final product (he is obviously a good sport)…however his only restriction was that licensing products from Spaceballs was off limits.
But when Brooks coined the phrase, “May the Schwartz be with you” in Spaceballs, a parody of “May the Force be with you” from Star Wars, there was a fear that he might not be able to prevent “inadvertent licensing” as the phrase took on a life of its own.
I didn’t do a search on whether Brooks violated his “non merchandising” agreement (that would involve too much over-Googling)…but there are many images and GIFs when you Google “May the Schwartz…”
Did you know that GIFs first appeared in 1987?
I bet there is an illegal poster or two circulating somewhere at least… “The Schwartz,” in Spaceballs, is a supernatural force that Yogurt (a character played by Brooks, a parody of the Star Wars character Yoda) is the keeper of…and it consists of the “Upside” (good) and the “Downside” (bad).
Here is Yogurt letting you know about “The Schwartz” (only an image and not a GIF):
Why am I telling you all of this?
Because I found it interesting…and relevant…to another force called “The Schwartz.”
And this Force/Schwartz is one that you know well if you read my weekly blogs—and one that has nothing to do with Yogurt, (or cottage cheese or sour cream or anything edible).
Of course, I am talking about Gene Schwartz…one of the greatest copywriters who has ever lived…author of one of the greatest books ever written about copywriting, marketing and human behavior (Breakthrough Advertising) …and someone who is more popular today than when he wrote his masterpiece in 1966.
And even more relevant too.
Kind of like Mel Brooks?
Today I want to share with you a video presentation I recently gave at the “AWAI Bootcamp” (an annual conference where the best of the best copywriters assemble each year) …on a topic I have written about and spoken about before…but I’ve enhanced it with some additional “Force” (i.e. “Schwartz”).
It’s titled: Why copy is the least important element of any promotion…until it’s not
Once I get to the part about when creative IS the most important element (spoiler alert), I talk about two key principles from “The Schwartz” that are critical when writing to any audience and should never be ignored.
I’ve repeated a few concepts from previous blog posts (for the purpose of background) in this video presentation; but since many of you have told me my blogs are too long and that I should do more videos, those repetitions might be new information if you never read my blogs. 🙂
I know “The Schwartz” will be with you regardless.
Click on the screenshot below (the presentation begins at 25 seconds once you hit the play button)…and let me know what you think.
P.S. Whether you are a Gene Schwartz fan, a Mel Brooks/George Lucas fan or just a reader of my weekly blog, you know “Marketing isn’t everything…it’s the only thing” is a regular theme of mine.
And I am not saying that like a guy who wants to sell you the Brooklyn Bridge…or counterfeit Spaceballs memorabilia…or anything else you are not very interested in buying.
However, without marketing, your mission or vision for your life will probably only reach dozens of people rather than millions…and know that you can reach more of the folks you really want in your life with constraints and boundaries that are exclusively your own.
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