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Trends, commentary, and insightful rants from the bleeding edge of advertising, content & branding.

DEEP BLUE BRANDING

Or what can Avatar tell us about effective advertising?

1)   Don’t Suck.

 Seems obvious, and it is, but this rule is broken all the time.  Let’s just start from a place of doing something well. Mmm’kay! It’s a good life lesson really not just for an Avatar listicle.  Hey, if you say you’re going to re-invent film-making then you need to actually go ahead and re-invent film-making.  Box. Checked.

 2)   I.T.S.S.  (It’s the story stupid)

 Yeah, bad acronym, but the point is that people still care about a simple story well told.  We can quibble over a few things (dialogue?) here and there but Avatar is your classic hero’s journey, your basic quest and growth story.  And you know what? People love that! They still do…maybe they just needed to see it with fresh eyes.  The authenticity of that simple Aristotelian good/bad, 3 act, sword in the stone story still sings with audiences.

 3)   Immersive story-telling equals Brand Immersion

 “This 3D stuff is gold, Jerry! Its gold!” Used to be that a great performance was enough to suck you so deeply into the story you didn’t want to leave.  Or the writing was so vivid and provocative you couldn’t put the book down.  Looks like Cameron has raised the bar just a wee bit in that regard.  Lots of online buzz about Avatars viewers who have sunk into depression because they can’t actually “live” in the world of Avatar.  The sense memory of that world (Pandora) is so real you desperately want to return.  Could the same soon be said of a branded experience? Well…its just content.  Well crafted content with a story people care about (see above).  So, you might laugh at world centered around Tide w/Bleach but if the story and the brand come together to create something really experiential people will pay attention.

Think about it this way, Avatar is essentially a 2.5 hour commercial for Greenpeace and people walk out “loving it.”

 4)   Community. Community. Community.

 We might be sick of hearing about brand communities. But damned if it doesn’t still work.  When passions are ignited people come together if whatever forums are available to discuss and extend and deepen their relationship with that “idea” or “story” or “product.”  Why does creating an outlet for brand communities still work? Essentially because its not a gimmick. It certainly can be in the wrong hands but if you make something good (see rule #1) and then provide clever and provocative ways for folks to share about that good thing connections are going to happen.  People will find a way to do it themselves (I’m sure there are Avatar meet-ups happening) so you might as well benefit from it in some way.

 5)   Three D – Schmeee D.

The technology is just the tool. The Idea is the Engine.  Cameron had apparently been dreaming about the idea of this world and this story for years. And then developed the technology to bring it to life.  This is the proper order of things, not “hey, what do I do with this cool 3D camera?” You start at the molecular level with a creative idea that’s powerful and then realize it in the best way possible.

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Filed under: advertising, avatar, brands, consumer choice, online advertising, social media

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Super Genius LLC is a digital media and creative incubator that excels at bringing fresh, new thinking to existing strategy as well as blank-page strategic development. Our mission is to open up unique and exciting ways of connecting brands and consumers.

"The future is here, it's just not evenly distributed yet." William Gibson

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