This weekend friends celebrated their 20th Anniversary. Their family doesn’t really do anniversary parties, there are so many birthdays, graduations, christenings and dance recitals, that anniversaries get passed over. So our group of girlfriends decided we should have a party for them, and surprise them with a “Happy Anniversary” theme when they show up.
We have all known each other since law school (my hubby, not me) and the wives have become really close over the years. You don’t want to be in the same restaurant as us on a Girls Night Out, if you have you’ll remember us-we are the loud table.
Anyway, we concocted a plan for cocktails and were able to come up with a date that worked for everyone on the 1st try. Cheryl hosted and I worked on the menu. The kids would all come, play in the basement and eat pizza.
A cake didn’t seem like enough of a celebration, so I called Doreen’s sister and the rest of the group and got some pictures to build movie of their 20 years together. Picasa Movie Maker turns photos into a movie in a snap. Or so I thought until I realized I had twelve minutes worth of photos included! Oops. That’s a lot of memories. But hey, it’s TWENTY years.
Doreen is a huge Springsteen fan, so he was going to be the movie’s sound track. Greg (also a Bruce-a-holic) picked out “I will work for your love” and since there were so many pics, I added “Surprise, Surprise, Surprise.” Both tracks had to run through twice to get through all the photos. (Note: Picasa only lets you load a single track so use Audacity to stitch together the songs to the length you need, then load that to Picasa as your single track.)
So we get to Cheryl’s on Friday night; Jay and Doreen arrive last and the kids hung a big Happy Anniversary sign that greets them at the door. We all yell “Happy Anniversary!” They are stunned, both had actually had a crummy day, so it was even better.
After we take pics and dive into the food and wine, we set up the projector and showed the movie. It was a hoot. Bruce is singing in the background, Doreen is singing along between bouts of laughter and we are all cringing at the haircuts we had. There’s a bunch of people only Jay and Doreen know, and a bunch of memories we all share together. They were really touched. They’ve had quite a life when you compact it into 12 minutes.
Today she sent out this email:
That got me thinking… What if you did this with you customer instead of your friends.
Instead of a year end review or QBR, you walked in with a Picasa movie set to music that recaps the highs and lows of the relationship between your companies?
Oh-you’re thinking, “there’s no pictures.” I bet you can come up with some, it only needs to be 2 minutes long, think of it as the story of the last year between the two of you:
- Start by taking pics of the sign in front of both your offices-just use your phone’s camera
- Include a couple slides out of Power Points you’ve given over the year. They will evoke the memory of those key decisions.
- Are there logo or branding or inventory changes that happened through that time period? Show before and afters, maybe it’s only empty shelves or closed store fronts or decommissioned servers or repainted trucks or drug launches.
- Web site changes – do before and after screen captures from training manuals
- Get a flip cam and interview some front line players – what do they like, what do they want for the future.
- Snip out a couple press releases from the web on either their company or the industry
- Put it all into Movie maker, set the whole thing to music that sets the mood for the discussion you want to have after the screen goes dark.
What do you think would happen? They will never forget you, I guarantee it.