A dancing lion and the value of departing from the script

I was planning to write a blog post on how to capture the attention of prospective customers. The usual fare of practical marketing advice: How do you cut through the clutter to build visibility, establish credibility, and generate leads, etc?

But I'm not going to write about that.

Instead, I want to talk about a dancing lion. This particular lion is, or more likely was, a dancer in a Russian ballet troupe. In a complete departure from the choreographer's direction, not to mention the orthodoxy of classical Russian ballet, he pranced out from his supporting role and completely upstaged the prima ballerina and her danseur partner. And instead of quietly shuffling off-stage with the other stuffed animals, he made a glorious departure.

And the audience loved it!

Best of all, someone captured it on video and posted it on YouTube. It's been watched more than 227,000 times. I imagine the vain and disobedient lion was fired, but he sure did get attention.

Let me discretely slip in my main point here: Departing from the script can be effective.

It can grab people's attention and hold it. It can give them a "hook" to remember you with. It can cut through the clutter. Done well, that's usually good stuff for marketers.

You don't want to be inappropriate. But you don't always need to pound your prospects with a jack-hammer:

HERE'S MY MESSAGE!
HERE'S MY MESSAGE!
HERE'S MY MESSAGE!

Sometimes taking a detour from the expected and making a few taps to the funny bone works even better.