Why We Love Jordan Peele's Oscar's Speech

March 6, 2018 Ophelie Zalcmanis-Lai

Everybody wants to do important work.

In fact, it’s really not a bad thing to strive to do important work. That’s a pretty solid motivating factor behind flexing those creative muscles and getting the output rolling.

Last night, Jordan Peele won his first Oscar for Best Original Screenplay for Get Out.

We could talk at length about the movie’s best aspects, but that would need an entirely separate post on its own. For now, we’ll just gently remind you that Get Out still has a 99% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes (take that as you will).

What really shown for us was his Oscar’s speech from Sunday evening.

This is what captured our minutes. Here’s why:

0:46-1:00: “I stopped writing this movie about 20 times because I thought it was impossible. I thought it wasn’t going to work. I thought no one would ever make this movie. But I kept coming back to it because I knew if someone let me make this movie, that people would hear it and people would see it.”

To start and stop creating something 20 times because one thought it wouldn’t work is pretty heavy stuff.

That said, we want to show some mad respect for Peele and his incredible determination for his work.

Thinking that something will never get off the ground is probably one of the hardest obstacles to face. After all, if something doesn’t have a plan to move forward, then does it all really exist?

Yes, for Peele it did. He had an important story to tell and one that he knew would resonate. For that reason he kept writing. He kept creating.

So, for all the creators out there (agency, brand, individual or otherwise), this is your inspiration to keep creating important work. Even when things look impossible, it doesn’t mean you have to leave the pen and paper to the side indefinitely. Approach it from a different angle. Try a new strategy. Most importantly, remember what it is you’re trying to create.

We’re posting this on a Tuesday, so we can’t say #MondayMotivation. But we’re going to say #TuesdayMotivation anyway.   

1:24-1:28: “My mother who taught me to love, even in the face of hate.”

In a world where every day we hear news of socioeconomic instability, racial tensions and various political strife, this is a message that really anyone and even any brand can adopt.

In fact, it should be adopted.

As a guiding message in creating a piece of work, this simple but powerful phrase can teach us so much and in turn, allow for our work to reach greater levels of meaning. When it’s not solely focused on the bottom line, appearances or click-throughs, it actually gets easier to create.

Sometimes, it’s almost too easy to get completely wrapped up in KPIs. Unfortunately, when this happens the creation process becomes a bit of a machine instead of something that should have more of a natural flow to it. When that happens, it loses its human aspect. That human aspect is what makes things special. Thoughtful. Emotional, even.

If we’re all trying to communicate (or even market) human being to human being, something like this can’t happen.   

1:29-1:44: “To everybody who went and saw this movie. Everybody who bought a ticket. Who told somebody to buy a ticket. Thank you. I love you for shouting out at the theatre. For shouting out at the screen. Let’s keep going.”

The growing emphasis on each of these words spoken by Peele seriously challenged us to think, especially when he said “for shouting out at the theatre. For shouting out at the screen. Let’s keep going.”

Contrary to popular believe, not all CTAs should be to buy something. Stirring people to action can sometimes be the most powerful CTA of all. Why? Because it means the idea that sparked a genius piece of content also sparked some change.

If people are going to remember a certain piece of work, they’ve got to connect with it. There’s no greater way of connecting then feeling motivated to do something about what someone has just seen, heard or otherwise consumed.

Also, the way Peele brought his speech down to a personal level with fans by saying “let’s keep going” made us think of community. The idea that people can come together and keep producing really meaningful work that does something.

It’s only three words, but they pack a big punch of motivation.

Congratulations to Jordan Peele on his Oscar win. It was much deserved.

At the end of the day, people engage with content by lending their minutes. Content is successful when its battery is fully charged with attention.

What will win this week?

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