Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Title Power 

This is a fascinating story on the power of titles in Hollywood. Millions are spent -- or not -- on the strength or perceived weakness of a movie title. The story is testimony to the need to keep messages simple. The image of people thinking of titles such as, "To Hell and Back," is absurd. But, they do. When one thinks about it, what they are doing is not much different from those who think of campaign slogans -- "Hope in America."

In the end, titles convey the broadest sense of what one is saying and often, readers project their own meaning onto them. I was taught long ago to make headlines short, simple and accurate. None of that holds in Hollywood, or in politics, for that matter. In both environments, a suggestion of meaning is enough to attract people to the movie theater or the voting booth. The suggestion may or may not accurately reflect the underlying substance. However, it is testimony that both movie moguls and political communicators understand the power of a few carefully chosen words. That is a lesson for the rest of us.


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