A Christmas Story Lesson About Social Media Bullies

a christmas story In 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 at Healthcare Success
Stewart Gandolf, MBA, is Chief Executive Officer of Healthcare Success, one of the nation's leading healthcare and digital marketing agencies. Over the past 20 years, Stewart has marketed and consulted for over 1,000 healthcare clients, ranging from practices and hospitals to multi-billion dollar corporations. A frequent speaker, Stewart has shared his expertise at over 200 venues nationwide. As an author and expert resource, Stewart has also written for many leading industry publications, including the 21,000 subscriber Healthcare Success Insight blog. Stewart also co-authored, "Cash-Pay Healthcare: Start, Grow & Perfect Your Cash-Pay Healthcare Business." Stewart began his career with leading advertising agencies, including J. Walter Thompson, where he marketed Fortune 500 clients such as Wells Fargo and Bally's Total Fitness.

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