Business Tips from Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century

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In this blog—I’m gonna break down what you can learn about website design & marketing from Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century.

You’ll learn:

  • Why you should repurpose your marketing content ♻️
  • How to combat unrealistic client expectations 🤪
  • What makes a good time to launch an offer 🚀
  • How to win a contest to dance with Proto Zoa on stage 🎸

(Never watched Zenon trilogy before or need a refresh? Click here, here &here for the summaries.)

Let’s start with the marketing & launch for Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century.

The first movie in the Zenon trilogy, Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century premiered in January 1999 (today marks the 25th anniversary 🎉)—followed by Zenon the Zequel in January 2001 & Zenon Z3 in June 2004.

It’s not unusual for Disney Channel to do very little marketing other than “Please sit on your couch in front of the TV at 8/7 central every week”. But even for Disney standards this particular film series didn’t get very much attention. <<< Especially if we’re comparing the amount of merch some of the other series got (i.e. Kim Possible, etc.).

Disney is known for hiding “hidden Mickeys” aka. Easter eggs in their content. So the one marketing campaign that they did for the third Zenon movie. There were hidden Z’s throughout the film that you could count & win a contest or unlock something on the website for the Zenon Z3 film (#funfact Zenon Z3 was the first DCOM to have its own website).

^^^ I actually remember participating in this contest but I can’t remember the details & Google doesn’t seem to know much about it—so if anyone else remembers this please let me know 😆

But despite the quote-unquote lack of marketing for the movies, the Zenon trilogy has quite the fan base—so it’s kind of surprising that Disney didn’t try & capitalize on it more.

It’s also somewhat of a little-known fact #funfact that the Zenon movies are based on a book series.

Which brings me to my first pointe…

Repurpose your marketing content as much as possible.

Now I know turning a book into a movie is a little bit different than taking a YouTube video & turning it into an Instagram caption—but the basic idea still stands.

You don’t need to reinvent the wheel & start from a blank slate every time you write a new piece of content for your business.

I find it easiest to start with long-form content (i.e. blogs, newsletters, etc.) & break it down to short-form content (i.e. Instagram feed posts, etc.)—but do whatever works for you.

But if there’s one thing you can learn from any movie it’s this…

The timing & season of when you launch can make or break whether it does well or not.

The first Zenon movie was originally supposed to premiere in December of 1998 instead of January 1999—which in case you hadn’t guessed it yet, is a much better time of year to release a non-Christmas-themed film.

^^^ Now I will say that probably would’ve worked better than releasing a Halloween movie in July (*cough* Hocus Pocus *cough*)—BUT it’s still not ideal. Because it’s very easy for your ideal client to get distracted by all the marketing noise & life, you’ll have a better chance at competing for your time in their inbox or Instagram feed if there’s not as much competition.

For the Zenon Z3, due to scheduling conflicts, Disney decided to recast the role of Proto Zoa (which I remember seeming weird when the movie premiered)…

TBH that decision wasn’t as bad as it could’ve been & at least there was a reason for it unlike Return to Halloweentown *shrug*…

But it’s another reminder that you need to prepare your audience for big pivots in your business.

Here are some notable quotes & plot points from the scripts of Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century that can help you with your website design & marketing.

Quote: Zenon: “Cetus Lupeedus!”

Business Lesson: One of the Zenon trilogy’s signature moments is the various lingo that’s used to depict what people in 2049 & beyond might sound like. And what can you learn from this? It’s a mondo stellar idea to say phrases over & over again to your audience so they stick.

As an example, I always say “You can’t outsource ALL of your website design. You can outsource some but it’s not sustainable to outsource all of it.”.

Could I think of something more fabulo to say than that? Probably—but I’m trying to make that pointe stick & you can do the same thing in your business.

Quote: Greg: “I said I’d buy you dinner, not 10 dinners.”

Business Lesson: Unrealistic client expectations anyone? But seriously if you’re dealing with a lot of nightmare clients it could be because you’re not clear on the deliverables that come with your offer (or it could just be a nightmare client *shrug*).

One way to combat this is by showing your exact packages (what’s included & pricing) on your website. Or you could include something like a welcome guide in your process going with the price ranges of working with you.

Quote: Margie Hammond: “Never send an amateur to do a job that requires a pro.”

Business Lesson: I’m all for DIYing (I even encourage it when you’re designing your website)—BUT that being said there’s a time & a place to outsource. A good rule of thumb is if you could get a bigger ROI doing another task then you probably should outsource. <<< Keep in mind that ROI doesn’t have to be $$$—it could simply be more time with family.

Quotes: Leo: “Microbe they’re as thermo as a band from 2025.” & Zenon Kar: “That’s ridiculous. You’re not old until you hit 30!” Proto Zoa: “I’m 31.”

Business Lesson: I don’t actually have a business lesson for this one, but I had to pointe out that #funfact we’re equal distance (25 years) to 1999 as 2049—which are the years the first movie premiered in & took place in respectively 🤯

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