Business information written specifically for newspaper advertising departments

From the Big Screen to Your Brand

What movies can teach you about branding
Now, this may seem like a far reach for sales reps working in newspaper ad departments, but Anderson’s movies can teach us some helpful lessons when it comes to constructing and establishing a defined and recognizable brand.

Director Wes Anderson is coming out with a new movie called “Moonrise Kingdom.” For those not familiar with Anderson or his movies, he has both directed and written, or co-written, movies such as “Rushmore,” “The Royal Tenenbaums” and “Fantastic Mr. Fox.” While each of these movies present a unique perspective and story, they all share a vision and idiosyncratic style specific to Anderson. When you sit down to watch one of his movies (which I recommend for those who have not!), you know it is an Anderson film almost instantly. Now, this may seem like a far reach for sales reps working in newspaper ad departments, but Anderson’s movies can teach us some helpful lessons when it comes to constructing and establishing a defined and recognizable brand.

Establish a Consistent Image…

As previously mentioned, once you have seen an Anderson movie, you will recognize the others as being part of his repertoire. While each offers a new time, place, set of characters and plot, they all share distinct Anderson features, such as visuals or tone — Anderson even recruits the same actors, like Bill Murray, from movie-to-movie. His consistency between films construct his cinematic fingerprint, thus informing viewers that it is an Anderson product. Make sure your clients understand that building a defined and clear image before even beginning work on their ads is extremely important. Every brand’s goal is to present a strong and unified front to the public so customers can come to know and recognize that brand in the future. Help your clients in deciding what they will make consistent about their image and how that will be implemented in their advertising. It could be anything from a slogan, logo or image. Whatever it is, keep it consistent so that when a client comes across that ad in your newspaper, eventually they will be able to easily identify your client’s company. This is the foundation for brand loyalty and a strong brand-customer relationship.

… But be Creative!

While consistency is important in order to create accessibility to clients, it’s also important to mix things up. Consistency and creativity may seem like they’re at odds, but Anderson has managed to find the balance in his movies, and you can help your clients achieve that balance as well. While certain aspects of his movies are easily recognizable as classic Anderson techniques, each movie offers something new to the viewer. Whether it be a certain scene that takes us by surprise, characters that are relatable and resonate with us or one single piece of dialogue that sticks with us after the credits roll — Anderson knows how to keep things fresh movie-to-movie. Once you help your client establish consistency within their brand, then help them create creative advertising for their brand. While something may remain consistent so customers come to identify it as something specific to that brand, make sure they are also taking their customers by surprise. Create witty copy for their ads, or use images and graphics that grab a reader’s attention when flipping through the pages of the newspaper. Incorporating techniques that startle a consumer will stick with them, and you want your client’s brand to stick with their customers.

Engage Customers

So, you have set up a consistent, yet creative image for your client. Now it’s time to tell them about the importance of engaging and interacting with their customers in order to build a strong and lasting bond between customer and brand. Unlike most big budget movies, Anderson films do not do a lot of PR campaigning or advertising before a movie’s release date. Since he has built a strong, recognizable image, he has also established a strong, defined following and fan base. As a result, Anderson movies rely heavily on word-of-mouth press. Blogs and social media lit up when news hit that Anderson was coming out with his next movie, “Moonrise Kingdom.” Anderson further engages his fan base by offering unique and quirky merchandise and clubs based on his movies for his die-hard fans. Make sure your clients are jumping into the conversation with their clients, as well. Tell them their online presence should well developed and active on sites like Twitter and Facebook. These conversations shouldn’t be one-sided. Brands should be creating a dialogue with their customers, asking their opinions and thoughts. Identify your client’s “die-hard fans” and offer them rewards for their loyalty, including coupons and discounts. Gestures like this will further solidify the brand’s image as a trustworthy one that cares about its clients, thus reaching brand mecca: brand loyalty.