Seinfeld on Marketing: Kramer, Mavericks and Trailblazers

No, this episode of Seinfeld on Marketing is not about two NBA teams (but great guess). In this setup, Jerry and Kramer are walking down the street at dusk:

KRAMER: Look how dark it’s gettin’ already.
JERRY: Well, it’s not Daylight Saving time yet.
KRAMER: When does it start?
JERRY: I don’t know, they just tell you the night before.
KRAMER: Uh. Well, I’m sick of waiting. [Pulls out his pocket-watch and sets it ahead]. I am springin’ ahead right now.
JERRY: [Under his breath] Oh, I’m sure that won’t cause any problems.

[Side note, but important: A reminder that this weekend on March 9th is Daylight Saving time here in the US. Be sure to set your clocks ahead one hour.]

Here’s the thing. Jerry is a floater (“They just tell you the night before”) – like the feather in Forest Gump, he follows along where things take him. He follows the rules and no one gets hurt.

Kramer on the other hand is a maverick…a trailblazer…a rebel. Society says “this is when Daylight Saving time is” and he ignores it. He comes up with ideas that others think are too risky or won’t work (i.e. making your own pizza pie, starting the Peterman Reality Tour, writing his coffee table book about coffee tables, et. al.)

It’s the Kramers of the world that dare to see more out there beyond what society, your boss, government, your own mind, the status quo, The Matrix or whatever you want to call it says that you should safely see (and do). The Kramer’s of the world are the ones that inspire change. Here’s to the Kramers!

This old Apple commercial inspired this post and is dedicated to the Kramers of the world (Truly an awesome commercial, one to watch each morning before your begin the day):

This post is part of a weekly series, Seinfeld on Marketing.

Happy Friday!


5 Responses

  1. This reminds me of the premise behind the book “Crazy Bosses,” by Stanley Bing.

    I didn’t really like the book at all and do not endorse it, but there was one message that I thought was absolutely true, and that was that there is a different mindset among leaders and bosses than among those being led and managed. Leaders got to where to their position by being Mavericks and Trailblazers, while those being led just sit back and play it safe.

  2. To paraphrase my father, it’s the 1% of the world that are visionaries, who have given the other 99% of the world all they have.

    Think of Newton, Edison, Einstein, Page and Brin, Watson and Crick, Jobs and Gates, Ford, Da Vinci, Bezos, King, Ghandi, Mellon, Rockefeller, Mendel, Beethoven, etc. etc. etc.

  3. Whoops, I meant Carnegie, not Mellon. lol

  4. @ Chris – I’d say that is true. Safety gets you there, but unnoticed. Leading the way usually gets you there along with those that believe in your shared vision.

    @ Michael – Nice reminder, nice list. Up your alley…I think Vince Lombardi was also a visionary that lead the way to greatness.

  5. Yes, truely he was. Some great coaches are great at building amazingly talented teams. Vince Lombardi was great at squeezing every last ounce of strength, motivation, and dedication out of his teams.

    His first season he took a team that was 2-10 the previous year into a 7-5 team. Plus he never had a losing season and was 9-1 in the playoffs (5 champsionships, including the first 2 Super Bowls, in 7 years).

    I wish I would have known him to learn from.

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