What it’s taken from day one and what we truly believe in, is changing the way business is done. Coined phrases and process are important, but it’s the choices and actions taken that make a cause truly come to life.

Making things real.

In the beginning of the movie Pulp Fiction, Jules Winnfield has his wallet out in the café for the gun-weilding man that’s demanding it, robbing the café’ in broad daylight. The wallet is brown leather, embroidered with the words “Bad Something-or-other”.

Jules produces a bigger gun and within moments, he takes full control, “Now Ringo… I’m going to count to 3”, he says, before making the man sit down with his hands flat on the table.

In this scenario, “bad something-or-other” is real, not just a coined phrase.

But what if it was?

Coined phrases can lead to a false sense of future outcome, and even lose their meaning as they move through tiers of communication and time.  They can fail to trigger personal accountability and the essence of what the phrase was born from in the first place, and what the phrase is supposed to trigger (no pun intended).

This is important if we’re talking about something that’s part of a company’s culture and progress.


“an old, heavy suitcase whose well-worn handles are hanging by a few threads.”
Ed Catmull, President of Disney Animation and Pixar Studios describes a similar concept in his book “Creativity, Inc.” as “an old, heavy suitcase whose well-worn handles are hanging by a few threads.” He illustrates the handles of that suitcase to represent those phrases we rely upon, believing they will carry us through; and the suitcase itself represents “all that has gone into the formation of the phrase: the experience, the deep wisdom, the truths that emerge from struggle” — all that was real behind the phrasing that created the real success when it was initiated.

If leaders fail to carry the suitcase and run with the handles only, phrases become empty and inaccurate, future success is at stake.  As Catmull puts it “the key is not to let this trust, our faith, lull us into the abdication of personal responsibility”.

Consider any account executive that’s closed a deal.  The campaign is getting ready to go live, or the equipment is being manufactured, whatever it is.  A nagging in the back of their mind says something could be wrong, but the order is in and our company’s mantra is “trust the process”.

Could the mantra prevent the AE from making the call to check?

Pseudo faith, especially with a risky plan, can easily be felt due to resilience and past accomplishments.  This false assurance comes from the previously applied depth, effort, discovery, real progress, and ground-breaking at the time when it didn’t have a coined phrase to lean on.

Let’s make this as real as possible.  Here are a few coined phrases we’ve built from real progress with a brief explanation of what it really means and the implication if it becomes hollow… if we don’t “carry the suitcase” so-to-speak.

“It’s about the Ecosystem”

This is a hugely popular phrase and belief within MLive Media Group.  Our client’s campaigns are more than just advertising, they are marketing solutions tied to ROI and carefully designed to objectives with measurement and metrics. It signifies how our campaigns are built, and specifically the story of how each component, tactic, measurement, etc. fits together to work as an ever-optimizing machine.

If we grab the handles only and forget the essence, an ecosystem becomes nothing more than a list of products.

The Campaign Promise

From the objectives of our clients through to the strategy, tactics, mesasurement and how the Ecosystem described above works, comes a promise.  The time we spend with our clients to share performance and ensure the results are really happening.

If we grab the handles only, this can too easily become a “report that got sent”.

Don’t go behind the curtain

Given the infinite science behind any single marketing or advertising tactic in today’s world (let alone how they all fit together as an ecosystem), it’s impossible to be an expert at each of the small details that many of our fulfillment teams are fluent with.  We encourage our sales leaders and executives to stay visionary, it’s critical, and to not pursue the depths of details available in fulfillment.

If we grab the handles only, this becomes a message that one no longer needs to stay smart, ask key questions, or check on something if instinct says so.

And…Jules’ success was really in shutting down the robbery. Actually I think he let the guy go with all the wallets except for his if I remember right, but I didn’t watch that part on YouTube. The point really is this: If Jules wasn’t a “Bad Something-or-other” by practice, thought, action, and real depth – he’d of either had his wallet ripped off with nothing to say about it or have been dead for trying to interfere. You get the picture.

What phrases do you have within your own organization that were born from progress, but have either lost their real meaning or are causing a false sense of future success?