A Christmas Story Lesson About Social Media Bullies

a christmas storyIn the beloved 1983 holiday classic, A Christmas Story, you’ll recall that hapless Ralphie Parker (Peter Billingsley) wants two things: A Red Ryder BB gun, and to avoid the hassles of schoolyard bully, Scut Farkus (Zack Ward).

The Jean Shepherd tale is retold each holiday season, and will be broadcast again this year on Christmas Eve on TBS. Set in December, 1940—a time before television, the Internet or social media—there’s a timely marketing message that comes through to the present.

Radio is the dominant media of the period, and Ralphie is a fan of the Ovaltine-sponsored broadcast. But when the secret radio decoder ring message moves from engaging to blatant self-promotion, the magic is lost.

Watch this scene where Ralphie’s bubbling enthusiasm is suddenly burst by “a crummy commercial.”

A christmas story

A Crummy Commercial?

Avoid being a social media bully…

Ralphie’s loyalty as a fan is shattered. The present-day message for social media marketing is that audience connectivity and rapport is quickly destroyed by overtly commercial and self-promotional messages that are devoid of benefit. So…consider what social media delivers to the audience. It’s better to give than to receive, (and don’t be a SM message bully.)

With that lesson in mind, consider this to be our annual reminder to watch the classic, A Christmas Story, available on your newfangled television box (Thursday, December 24, TBS), as well as online streaming to computer, tablet or phone.

And for more on this, see our previous post, Is Your Social Media Just a Crummy Commercial?

Stewart Gandolf, MBA

Stewart Gandolf
Chief Executive Officer & Creative Director at Healthcare Success
Over the years Stewart has personally marketed and consulted for over 1,457 healthcare clients, ranging from private practices to multi-billion dollar corporations. Additionally, he has marketed a variety of America’s leading companies, including Citicorp, J. Walter Thompson, Grubb & Ellis, Bally Total Fitness, Wells Fargo and Chase Manhattan. Stewart co-founded our company, and today acts as Chief Executive Officer and Creative Director. He is also a frequent author and speaker on the topic of healthcare marketing. His personal accomplishments are supported by a loving wife and two beautiful daughters.

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