Grounds for Applause : A Thought on the Law of Hits
Shoichi Kotani, a respected senior marketer, wrote a book half a century ago titled “Hit it, hit it, hit it, hit it, hit it, hit it, hit it, hit it, hit it – a demonstration of applause” (1972). Let’s leave aside Mr. Kotani’s wonderful track record.
The book opens with this passage.
The only rule of our profession is that we hit the mark. The applause of the masses is the sole purpose of this art” (Louis Jouvet).
Everyone in the entertainment industry wants to know the secret to a hit.
I have been in the entertainment industry for over 30 years and have been fortunate enough to produce a few hits. That said, when asked in interviews what the secret is, I can’t give a clear reason for my applause.
What is certain is that there are more tickets to be broken than the dividends of a hit. Even if a college student who is good at math can hit a Vegas casino with probability theory, no marketer has ever applied it to the entertainment industry and had a hit after hit. There are none.
People who say, “I had that hit content and service idea myself,” don’t even have an outlier.
That said, there is no law that says if you fail a lot, your chances of success will increase.
One of my seniors once exclaimed, “To be a hit is to read people’s minds,” but such a thing is difficult even for X-men. I would never do such an imaginative and futile thing as reading other people’s minds.
It’s hard to take a hit.
But I dare say.
I think the secret to a hit is within you.
Only concepts created through dialogue with your best readers, consumers, and listeners are your strongest weapon.
Not what someone else wants, but what I want.
I also have many unique people, events that I don’t like, and “society” itself inside me. Without such a “society” inside of me, what I want to do and new concepts will not come to me.
So you have to travel, fall in love, talk to people, and take side trips. You can take a hit if you have an active world within you.
When I look at Gachan’s (GaKu) paintings, I see new possibilities. GaKu is gifted. He does not draw pictures with the intention of having someone look at them. He paints only for himself. That is where the potential of outsider art lies.
Gacchan’s drawings and his energy to continue drawing are thought-provoking in order to regain the lost sensitivity of marketers in the entertainment industry.