Beyond B2Sea: 5 Top Lessons B2B Marketers Can Learn from Pirate Movies

September 19, 2022

By Joshua Nite

5 B2B marketing lessons from pirate movies image

Avast, ye scurvy swabs! Today be Talk Like a Pirate Day, a holiday for landlubbers and seadogs alike. Ye don’t have to send cards or give gifts — just use your best nautical lingo and don’t forget the ARRRRs!

Talk Like a Pirate Day was first celebrated in 1995, but gained popularity online in the 2010s. It’s a good opportunity to be a little silly, watch some great movies, and maybe even learn a few pointers to guide your B2B marketing. 

So batten the hatches, hoist up the mizzenmast, and shiver your timbers: Here are five lessons you can learn from pirate movies.

1 — Treasure Island: Be Different to Be Remembered

Imagine you’re making a pirate movie, and your lead pirate shows up on set doing a weird, quasi-Irish accent, complete with outlandish gestures and mannerisms. I’m not talking about Johnny Depp — I’m talking about Robert Newton in Disney’s Treasure Island.

Newton’s unconventional performance is the reason the stereotypical ‘pirate accent,’ and therefore Talk Like a Pirate Day, exists. It’s all there, from the ARRRs to the ye’s and be’s.

I recently had the privilege of seeing the wonderfully smart and engaging Sally Hogshead speak about what makes a brand memorable. Her tagline: “Different is better than better.” In other words, don’t just strive to be better than the competition — that’s a neverending struggle for dominance. Instead, look for what makes you different, accentuate that difference, embrace it and commit to it. 

Robert Newton created a timeless archetype because he committed to being different. What could your brand do if you did the same?

2 — Pirates of the Caribbean: Be Entertaining but Useful

Now let’s talk about the other weird pirate with even more strange affectations: Captain Jack Sparrow. He’s regarded as a joke by most of the crew, even if they wouldn’t say so to his face. He arrives in port on a sinking ship, walks like he’s more than three sheets to the wind, and greets the world with a befuddled squint.


However, underneath it all, Captain Jack is a heck of a pirate. He’s great with a sword, can think on his feet, and manages to stay one step ahead of an entire navy out for his blood. Jack isn’t a memorable character because he’s weird. He’s a memorable character because he’s weird and very very good at his job. 

As B2B content becomes more creative, marketers have the opportunity to be unconventional, even a little weird, in their quest to earn attention. But as we do, let’s remember what Captain Jack taught us: You can be unconventional, but you have to get the job done, too.

3 — Muppet Treasure Island: Bring in a Ringer or Two

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Source:: Top Rank Blog