3 Lessons from Gilligan on Brand LOVE and LOYALTY!

Get a group of 500 adults in a room and start singing, “Now sit right back and you’ll hear a tale, a tale of a fateful trip…”  and the room will complete the song knowing every word of the Gilligan’s Island opening.  That 60’s sitcom (ran from 1964-1967) has a special place in the hearts of Gilligan fans!  (It might have something to do with the fact that there were only 3 channels to watch at that time)  With the recent passing of the show’s producer Sherwood Schwartz I wanted to revisit this phenom of a brand!

Gilligan, social media, corporate branding, brand loyalty, Gina Schreck
Gilligan’s Island

The fact that the show was only on for 3 yrs (The Brady Bunch for 5 yrs) and yet we all know the characters, the theme song and have our favorite episodes, is pretty amazing!  How can our brand have that lasting of an impact in the hearts of our fans?  Here are 3 lessons we can glean from Gilligan:

  1. We related to the characters
    Gilligan was goofy and fun-loving, the Skipper was controlling but lovable,  the professor was geeky (and hot), of course every girl wanted to be like Ginger but completely related to Maryann.  We got to know the characters and realized we were like them.  Do you let your fans get to know the characters of your organization?  How can you share a bit more about the real people to allow fans to relate better?
  2. We wanted to contribute
    I can’t tell you how many times I yelled to Gilligan to “LOOK TO YOUR LEFT” when there was a boat passing by, or to tell the Professor that his device had been unplugged by the monkey that came by earlier when only I was watching.  We were frustrated that there were celebrities and strangers who would find their way on and off of that island in each episode and yet the 7 castaways could never make it home.  We wanted to contribute our brilliance.   Your fans want to contribute as well.  Ask for them to share their brilliance in creating new product and service offerings.

    Gilligan, social media, brand loyalty, Gina Schreck
    I helped build this robot!
  3.  We heard from them regularly 
    I don’t think I missed an episode of Gilligan’s Island in the 60’s and with reruns that are still playing today, we heard from these 7 characters over and over again. They have entertained us and kept our interest for over 45 years now! Social Media allows us to be in front of our customers, fans and potential customers each day.  Make sure you are interesting and providing value, and they will let you into their hearts for years to come!


Now sing along with me…. Just sit right back and you’ll hear a tale, a tale of a fateful trip, that started from this tropic port aboard this tiny ship.  The mate was a mighty sailing man, the skipper brave and sure, five passengers set sail that day for a 3-hour tour.

Let me know if you and your brand need help building FAN engagement and loyalty.  Our team is as passionate about helping our customers engage socially and build business as I was in watching Gilligan!  303.978.0887

(More fun Gilligan lyrics trivia)