Remember that epic ice-cream debate scene from the spin doctor movie Thank You For Smoking?
Reading time: 1 minute
Have you seen the movie Thank You for Smoking?
If you haven’t, I can recommend it to anyone in working with public relations — it’s satirical and funny as hell.
It’s the story about Nick Naylor, a lobbyist for Big Tobacco who showcases some astonishing moral flexibility to be able to do his job. And what’s makes the movie so fun to watch is that he’s so good at what he does. Not only that, but he also has a son (with his ex-wife) that he desperately tries to bond with.
In the movie, there’s one scene between Nick and his son that I recommend in particular:
The ice-cream debate.
The Ice-Cream Argument Scene
“But I’m not after you. I’m after them.”
I often get asked for advice on how to persuade someone who has an opposite stance with no intention of sharing your opinion.
In most cases, the people you’re facing are heavily invested in their opinions1. Especially if the cameras are rolling; what would their fanbase say if they suddenly said:
“Well, you know. I’ve heard your arguments and they make sense to me; I’m actually going to change my mind right here and now.”
That never happens, right?
But maybe that’s okay? Think about it:
Having a protagonist might just make your perspective both clearer and much more engaging for those who share your side of the issue.
The point is this:
When it comes to persuasion, there will always be people who won’t allow you to change their minds. However, you could always use your enemies to make your arguments clearer.
What’s your favorite PR- or marketing movie? Let me know in the comments.
Published by Doctor Spin on March 10, 2010.
Never miss a Doctor Spin article again?
Join 4,100+ of the best people on the planet — my SpinCTRL subscribers
(+ download 23 Tactics for Content Promotion as a signup bonus).
Want Jerry to speak at your event? Learn more here.
Doctor Spin’s comment policy:
“Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, small minds discuss people.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt