Remember Ferris When You Write
Whenever I catch Ferris Bueller’s Day Off on TV, I have to watch it.
No longer would it matter what I was watching before, or what I was doing, or what I planned on doing. No longer did any of it matter, because Ferris Bueller was on TV, and when Ferris Bueller is on TV, you watch it.
But I digress. Last night, while exploring the wonders of the internet, I stumbled upon this bad boy. When I watched that video yesterday, it had 300 views. It now has over one million, and has already started finding its way through social media services.
If for some reason you can’t click (you’re going to have to try and find a way around that company firewall, one day), the link takes you to a ten second teaser on YouTube, starring Matthew Broderick, opening some shades and uttering one, single line: “How can I handle work on a day like today?”
Woah. WOAH. WHAT? Back up a second. What could this be? A possible sequel to one of the greatest films ever made? Or, as the rumors suggest at the time of this writing, a commercial for Honda? Yes. In fact, it debuts on Superbowl Sunday. I could go on and on about the pros and cons of a Ferris sequel, and what it would need in order to be great. I could debate the naysayers who think a sequel might “tarnish” the Ferris name. I’m not going to get into that here, because that’s not what this blog post is about.
This is a blog post about great writing, and how great creative writing can change the game.
Let’s look back at the YouTube. Most of us recognize Broderick, especially for his role as Ferris Bueller. But that’s not the only thing he’s famous for. Broderick has portrayed many different characters over the course of his career. So, how could a ten second clip starring Broderick possibly garner over a million views in a single day?
Like I said before, it’s all about great creative writing. Content is king, after all.
John Hughes, the writer and director of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, penned some absolutely memorable quotes while writing Ferris. For fans of the film, you know this all too well. I’m willing to bet some of you could spout off some of your favorites right now. Of course, the actor’s deliveries made all the difference in the world, but it all stemmed from one thing: the writing of John Hughes.
So when this teaser video swapped out one word (the original movie line had Ferris asking how he could handle school, not work), the producers of the commercial struck a goldmine. They cashed in on a memorable, marketable quote that everyone instantly recognized. “This is Ferris Bueller!” viewers surely exclaimed. They knew what the commercial was hinting at immediately.
The next time you sit down to write something, anything, you need to remember John Hughes and Ferris Bueller. Hughes, by crafting a simple, elegant line that was instantly relatable, was able to “brand” his writing. People began to recognize it and associate with it. That is why the teaser blew up so fast. Broderick said one short sentence, and in the process, spawn millions of views.
That is exactly what you need to do with your writing.
Your content might be read by hundreds, thousands, maybe even millions, so why settle for anything less than the freshest, most original content around? Fresh, original content that the reader can immediately relate to is what sticks. It makes people say, “Wow, this is excellent!”, and that is exactly what you want people saying when they read your work. You want to forge a connection with your reader, just like John Hughes did with his viewers.
Great writing will give you a reputable name. The more engaging, relatable and wonderful your writing is, the more readers will begin recognizing you as their trusted source. They’ll keep coming back to read what you have to say. They’ll want to hear more. They’ll tell others what they read, and your followers will grow. Many and constant readers, isn’t that what every writer wants?
Pour passion into your work. There is no such thing as a throwaway sentence. Every sentence counts, and by keeping your content simple, engaging, and relatable to the reader, you’ll naturally begin seeing an increase in traffic. Otherwise, you’ll just be another blog. Don’t be just another blog.
So, remember simplicity. Remember originality. Remember Ferris.