The basis for acclaim: thoughts on the “law of hits”
Masakazu Kotani, a marketer I admire, wrote a book half a century ago titled “Ataran, Atari, Ataru, Ataru, Atare, Atare: The Basis for Acclaim” (1972). Let us put aside Mr. Kotani’s wonderful achievements.
The beginning of the book contains the following quote.
“To produce a hit—that is the only rule of our profession. The applause of the masses—that is the only purpose of this art.” (Louis Jouvet)
Everyone in the entertainment industry wants to know the secret to producing a hit.
I’ve been in the entertainment industry for over 30 years. Luckily, I’ve been able to produce several hits. However, when asked in an interview, I am unable to give a clear basis for acclaim.
What I can say for sure is that there are more losing tickets than winning ones. A university student who is good at math may be able to use probability theory to win repeatedly at a Las Vegas casino, but no marketer has been able to continuously produce hits in the entertainment industry.
The person who says, “I also had the idea for that hit content or service” is someone who isn’t even playing the game.
With that said, there is no rule that says your likelihood of success will grow with each failure.
Some past marketers have proclaimed, “Making a hit is about reading people’s minds.” But reading minds is difficult even in the world of the X-Men. I don’t do such things that are a waste of time to even think about.
It’s hard to produce a hit.
But allow me to say this.
The secret to producing a hit lies, I think, within yourself.
Your most powerful weapons are concepts produced through inner conversations with the best possible readers, consumers, and listeners that reside within you.
It’s not about what people want. It’s about what you want.
Inside of you, there are many unique people and many things you don’t like. There is also an entire “society.” Without this “society,” you will be unable to discover new concepts or directions.
This is why you need to travel, fall in love, speak with people, and make detours. If you have an active world inside of you, then you will be able to produce a hit.
Looking at GaKu’s paintings, I sense new possibilities. GaKu is gifted. He doesn’t paint because he wants someone to see his paintings. He paints for himself. This is where the potential of outsider art resides.
Also, in terms of restoring the lost sensibility of marketers in the entertainment industry, GaKU’s paintings and unwavering energy are things that make one think.