SQN Blog-vent Calendar: 23. ‘Love, Actually’…And Understanding What Customers Actually Like!

 
Taking up Blog-vent Calendar duties today is SQN Client Services Director and our very own resident King of pop culture trivia Chris Hughes, who is here to explain what Richard Curtis, Emma Thompson et al. can teach us all about better understanding what our audiences are actually looking for!
 
Christmas is all around. Yes, it’s that time of the year yet again. Mulled wine and mince pies; the bumper edition of the Radio Times; and festive films galore on the TV. Time Out London has recently revealed the results of an online poll to name the best Christmas movie. But the result seems to have made some folk choke on their Quality Street…
 
We all have our favourite. Whether it’s Macaulay Culkin being left Home Alone, the warmth and charm of Miracle on 34th Street, the blissful innocence of The Snowman or the annual assertion that, yes of course, Die Hard is a Christmas film! But there was uproar on social media when the Richard Curtis rom-com “Love, Actually” was, actually, revealed to be top of the popcorn. Yes, a 2003 film with an ensemble cast of around 23 main characters telling intertwined stories of love, lust and romance… with a bit of ‘Ant or Dec’ thrown in for good measure.
 
Time Out London themselves describe the film as ‘shameless yuletide schmaltz’, while there were choice words from members of the public expressing their outrage at the decision. One Twitter user added it to the list of things that typify an awful 2016, while another said: “In the same year Mrs. Brown’s Boys was voted the greatest sitcom of all time. Kill me.” Not exactly getting in the festive spirit.
 
Here’s the thing. I like Love, Actually, actually. As it seems do many others. 16% of the public who voted in this poll are clearly partial to their annual dose of Martine McCutcheon, Hugh Grant and co. In PR and marketing, we can often launch ourselves head first into great creative ideas, fantastic concepts or content that will allow our clients to engage with their audiences. But the results of these polls occasionally serve a valuable purpose: don’t assume you know what your audiences like! It’s an important part of any campaign to test the waters – and to understand what audiences actually want. You might find that your opinion or idea might not be as in tune with your desired audience as you think…
 
And come on, if you can’t have a bit of shameless yuletide schmaltz at Christmas, then when can you, eh?
 
PS Richard Osman is currently carrying out his ultimate World Cup of Christmas Films on Twitter, with over 600,000 votes registered as of Friday morning. Check out @richardosman and make your vote count!