What We Can Learn From Movies

I often cast envious glances in the direction of Hollywood.

Not just because movies are bloody great, but also because the people involved in them seem to be so much better at what we do than we are.

We often try to create advertising campaigns that are viral, multi-media, 360-degree experiences, yet that’s what movies have been doing since before the terms were even invented. Star Wars toys, Happy Meal tie-ins, posters, radio ads, trailers that people go out of their way to spread and download, personal appearances by the people involved, premieres, reviews in the editorial sections of media… The list goes on and on.

You could just take the poster, a medium in which movies beat advertising hands down. They too have to communicate several things in one simple image, possibly with the backup of a line, but they do it so much better than we do:

I think a great lesson to learn here is that economy of elements can be boosted enormously by tone of voice. People rarely seem to mention this in advertising, but the TOV of an ad can communicate as much as, if not more than, the words and pictures. You can tell what those three movies are going to be like just be taking a glance at their representative images. And those images (I mean the whole poster, by the way, not just the picture) are better than anything I’ve seen in advertising in the last year.

And they all have it: brilliantly crafted image making that distills even a shit two-hour experience into one great picture:

Some of you might wish to argue that their ‘products’ are better/cooler/more interesting than ours. Well, that’s just one more thing that movies get right.

A studio never makes a picture that doesn’t ‘work’. It may not be of great quality or to your taste, but they almost always take 120 pieces of paper, filter them through a crew of 200 and come out with something at the other end that is a coherent whole that will appeal to a minimum of a million, but probably more like hundreds of millions of completely different people across the world.

Whereas we sift through some dismal shite from one car company/detergent/snack that is much like another.

Sorry, I’ve just realised this post is going to go on and on and on, so I’m going to break it down and do it in separate chunks.