Will Smith: Smoke and mirrors in marketing are over

Rosie Baker
By Rosie Baker | 22 June 2016

Hollywood actor and rapper, the Fresh Prince of Bel Air - also known as Will Smith, claims he's also a marketer.

Speaking alongside Edelman global chair of creative strategy Jackie Cooper at a session titl In Pursuit of Impact at Cannes Lions the actor said that as his entire career has been built on selling his product globally he 'considers himself a marketer'.

In recent years though, he has shifted his perspective from product to people.

"You have to spend time understanding people not just building a product," he said adding that if people don't want your product, no sales pitch or marketing idea will sell it to them," he said

"You have to trust that having a deeper comprehension of people will make your product better," which elicited a round of applause from the audience.

Smith also talked about the rise of technology and social media's impact on both Hollywood marketing and on people, rendering 'smoke and mirrors' impossible.

"Technology has killed cheating!" He proclaimed, because there's nowhere you can't go without someone seeing you or knowing where you are. He was only partly joking as he retold  a conversation with his son but added that the same logic follows in marketing movies and products.

"What used to happen in the 80s or 90s was you had a piece of crap movie and so you put out more trailers, and it was Wednesday before people knew your movie was shit. Now, In the first 30 seconds of a movie people are tweeting 'it's bad don't go see this, see Vin Diesel instead'," he said.

"Smoke and mirrors in marketing and media is over. People globally now know if your product isn't keeping its promises. I have to be in tune with them and not try to trick them into going and seeing Wild Wild West."

Have something to say on this? Share your views in the comments section below. Or if you have a news story or tip-off, drop me a line at rosiebaker@yaffa.com.au

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