What is the secret?
(New Media Blogger unravels the hot documentary self-help film “The Secret”.)
It has been featured on Oprah, Larry King, and Ellen. The Secret is
the hottest new craze in self help. It’s also an example of great
Never heard of “The Secret” before? Here’s the quick rundown, right from Wikipedia:
“The Secret uses a documentary film format to present the “Law of
Attraction”. This law is the “secret”…our feelings and thoughts attract
real events in the world into our lives”
In other words, the whole point of “The Secret” is to teach the lesson “Ask and you shall receive”. Sounds kind of familiar…
“The Secret” has made it to the Amazon.com and New York Times Best
seller lists. It has sold over 750,000 copies, even though it isn’t
available at many traditional DVD retailers.
Before we continue, lets take a second to watch the trailer for the film:
Wow. Who wouldn’t want to watch the movie after that trailer?
“The Secret” is pretty brilliant. I can just imagine the creator’s thought process:
”The people who “need” self help the most are probably too lazy
to go to conferences or read books. So rather than try and convince
them otherwise, I’ll change my product to better suit their lifestyles:
I’ll repackage a classic self-help mantra as a Da Vinci Code-esque
film. Then all the customer has to do is sit on the couch and hit play!”
But there’s a problem: How do you get the customer to actually purchase the movie?
“We’ll call it “The Secret”, and then release a number of press
releases and trailers which talk about “The Secret” without actually
saying what it is. That way people will feel compelled to purchase it,
as if they don’t they’ll be left out of a secret”.
But if these customers are so lazy, how do you convince them to order or rent the DVD?
“We’ll make the film available for instant purchase over the
Internet (delivered using the very cool Video-on-demand technology of Vividas).
We’ll also “leak” key portions of the video onto youtube and the like,
and then hire an expensive publicity agent to get “Secret Gurus” onto
shows like Oprah and Ellen.”
An actual viewing of The Secret reveals its “educational” content is
no different than any other new age self help story. The Secret’s
success therefore lies in its execution.
Even though I disagree with many of the things the Secret encourages, I must say I still give the Producer’s credit for the marketing machine they have created.