Hollywood Opened Our Eyes to Brand Marketing and Film Industry Parallels

Hollywood Opened Our Eyes to Brand Marketing and Film Industry Parallels

Insights on brand marketing and film industry parallels

With Georgia emerging as one of the top filming locations in the world, it’s been an exciting few weeks here at our Alpharetta “spaceship” office in the “Hollywood of South.” Last week, much to our surprise, we discovered that brand marketing professionals have quite a lot in common with film industry mavens.

A reboot of the popular 1980s action series, MacGyver, has primarily filmed in metro Atlanta since its debut. The action-adventure is about a secret agent, 20- something Angus “Mac” MacGyver, who creates a clandestine organization within the U.S. government. He uses his remarkable talent for unconventional problem solving and his vast scientific knowledge to save lives and defeat his foes.

There is always something that marketers can take away from other industries, especially those that are innovative and creative. As experienced marketers, here are some of the parallels our team observed during filming.

Focus on teamwork: Marketing brings together the creative talent of team members

Henry Ford once said, “Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.” During the setup and filming, we witnessed, firsthand, 200 disparate independent contractors organize and work together like a well-oiled machine. Keep in mind, each contractor has his or her own business and other customers to contend with. They work together on specific activities, but typically each is pulled in different directions on any given day, and each has his or her own business and other customers to contend with.

Similarly, our Alpharetta marketing team is a committed and experienced team of contracting marketing strategists, content developers, designers, web developers, digital marketers, and project managers working to ensure EWISE Communications remains focused on unlocking new opportunities for growth. Much like the film industry professionals, many times, we too work at a distance from our own locations. It may be across town, across the country, or the globe.

Lead with brand storytelling: Stories connect your brand with consumers

If you are making a film in today’s hyperconnected world, how do you cut through the clutter and connect with your audience? The keys to successful filmmaking are knowing and using viewers’ interests and targeting them accordingly through compelling storytelling. Literary design includes the story ideas. The story ideas include the characters and their issues/actions in the story, the setting of the story, and any related background.

In brand marketing, storytelling is the way we relate to consumers and each other. The best way to engage a customer who’s deciding what and when to buy is to stop pushing your products and services. Instead, focus on why your business exists at all. Much like filmmaking, the keys to successful marketing are understanding customers’ needs and pain points (specific problems) and targeting them through compelling stories—i.e., positioning your product or service as the obvious solution to their problem. When you tell this story and explain your values, you engage the customers who share your values. You can talk incessantly about your product or brand. But it isn’t until you make your audience feel something that they will remember you and emotionally connect with your brand.

A keen eye for visual design: Make your brand stand out from competitors

In filmmaking, visual design consists of what we see on screen, a vast array of components that includes lighting, photography, hair and makeup, costume, set design, etc. Alice in Wonderland won an Oscar for Best Art Direction in 2010 due to the extraordinary effort put into the film’s look and feel. What Alice in Wonderland can teach us about design is that we shouldn’t be afraid to play with the scale and size of elements. Alice changes size numerous times throughout the film, often requiring interesting alterations to her costumes. Similarly, the MacGyver set designers magically transformed our Alpharetta spaceship into the fictional Phoenix Foundation in Los Angeles!

Did you know that it takes about 50 milliseconds (that’s 0.05 seconds) for visitors to form an opinion about your website that determines whether they’ll stay or leave? The visual aspect of branding is how marketers evoke the specific feelings and experiences associated with the brand. If you want a cohesive visual identity that creates recognition, there are many elements you need to consider. Paying attention to every detail in designing a brand’s visual identity (e.g., website design, logo, typography, colors) pays off big in the end.  A strong visual identity is the foundation of a great brand.

There are many components to filmmaking that correlate seamlessly with a business environment. Perhaps it’s all the moving parts in a production that need to operate perfectly and the amount of teamwork involved to achieve a lofty goal, whether it’s completing a film or running a successful business. Whether it’s time to refresh your visual identity, revamp your website redesign, design a new logo, or rebrand your business, talk to our Alpharetta marketing team before launching your next production!