3 lessons from Nicole Kidman @SXSW


Nov 08, 2023

by Rob L


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SxSW managed to bring a diverse range of thinking into a unique conference which will only further evolve.

One standout was Nicole Kidman and Per Saari from Blossom Films.

Here’s 3 take outs through the lens of building your business through content.

  1. The algorithm isn’t everything – Take Risks

While we all get served up on LinkedIn/social and our favorite streaming channels what the platform thinks we will like, to be distinctive we need to be looking beyond the algorithm.

Yes, the data is important around what is driving engagement and what has worked in the past, but as marketers and content creators we should be leaning into unique stories and telling these stories through our distinctive tone of voice.

At 3rdspace, we talk about the fact that the customer is the hero in the story and the brand is the guide. This allows us to create authenticity and strong emotional journeys, highlighting the challenges of the customer and doing it in a way that will make people smile, feel something and relate to or teach them something new.

This “taking risks” ethos Nicole and Blossom live by, also extends to look outside for emerging talent or directors whose careers have stalled.

“So the idea of giving people chances and letting them keep trying because you have to be able to fail.

“Unfortunately, right now it’s so cutthroat and the judgment on people is so severe and (happens) so quickly that that kind of gets lost along the way, and I can’t stand that.”

Marketing and advertising can be a bit like cutthroat Hollywood – brands tend to go with the big stars who have the hype and also discard their agency partners in an instant just because of a few internal changes.

Look for people and teams who can really pinpoint your business problem, take risks and tell the story in a unique way that will deliver greater impact.

  • Try, try and try again

A great film script or idea may not have been right last year, 3 years ago, 5 years ago, but it may be right for today.

Keep an eye on what is going on in your customers life, in society and culture and every 6 months go back and review those ides that weren’t right then and see if, with a bit of a massage, they could be right for now.

  • We are all salespeople and financially responsible.

             Whether you are a film producer, director, creative, marketer or C Suite.

This point was made by Per Saari and echoed by Nicole – we all need to be able to get our teams, customers, stakeholders/investors excited about an idea, tell it through story highlighting the impact and the consequences if we don’t do it.

Most importantly when executing the idea, be totally financially responsible. Nicole told the story of doing wardrobe changes behind sheets and going for a pee in the bush, just so they could complete the shot list for the day and didn’t have to go into overtime. Ownership for the numbers is everyone’s responsibility.

One final outtake was Nicole’s commitment to the craft and on numerous occasions stating:

“You have to work hard – be relentless and find ways of doing things”

Here’s a person who could be treating Blossom like a bit of a side hustle as she has a net worth of approx. $250 million – from the energy on stage, to her passion for what she does, “Get in and do the work” resonated with the entire audience.

If you need a team who love to get in an help do the work in a distinctive way, above and beyond the algorithm, please get in touch.


*Picture: NCA NewsWire/Monique Harmer


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