What Challenger Brands can steal from the Movies

Stephen Bradshaw

Brands have always stolen movie references. Mood boards alone for client presentations often pluck the look and feel from movies as a guide for the vision of a TV campaign for example. But if we delve beneath the veneer of the campaign tone and analyse other trends, there is much a challenger brand can steal from the movies.


Steal the diversity


Take diversity in the workforce for example. A study by Time's Up, the organisation formed to promote gender equality in Hollywood, has found that female-led films consistently outperform male-led movies at the box office. The study analysed the 350 top-grossing films worldwide released between January 2014 and December 2017 and the researchers found that films (with small, medium or large budgets) averaged better global revenues when a woman was listed as the lead star.



The learning here is not so reactionary as to suggest removing all men from leadership roles, but to look for an equal balance. It just stands to reason, as logic dictates that a broader spectrum of opinion and insights in the boardroom can only be a good thing.


Steal the tech

Movies and technology have always fit hand in glove. Take drones for example. They are not just a more affordable way to capture aerial shots. According to computer scientist Tobias Nägeli they are now also on the cusp of significantly lowering the cost of high quality animations.

"It's a very time-consuming task to make figures look realistic in an animated film," explains Nägeli. " For the figures to appear natural, the first step is to film an actor performing the movements. The second step is then to build the animated figure around this."

The process often requires multiple cameras and tricky installations.

Nägeli and his colleagues at ETH Zurich and Delft University of Technology have developed a system that, in its simplest configuration, consists of just two drones and a laptop. The drones follow the actor's every move and automatically adjust their position so that the target can always be shot from the requisite angles. This greatly reduces the amount of camera work required, since the cameras only have to be in the spots where they are actually needed. Impressively, the system anticipates the actor's movements in real-time and then calculates where the drones need to fly in order to keep the actor in the frame.

The long story short here is that drones might make a long story short when it comes to animation production for interested brands too.


Steal the emotion

Oculus Rift and Playstation have brought VR into the homes of the masses. Beyond the actual games, VR ‘experiences’ are growing in popularity. Movies have staked an obvious and early claim with many big productions producing a VR experience as an early teaser for upcoming releases. Dunkirk was a personal favourite, placing you on the beaches with all the other soldiers awaiting escape, completely immersing you in the tension that hung in the air. It felt personal.



That personal approach is the learning here because not many advertising budgets cover VR or AR application builds. A personal one-to-one experience, however, is something your content and activations can aspire to at every budget.

Speaking of emotional connections, the possibilities in movies are about to ramp up thanks to 5G technology.

Imagine watching a horror movie individually calibrated to surprise and shock you? Or an alternative ending served up to match your mood. It might sound far-fetched but with 5G there is virtually no lag, meaning the networks and systems would be fast enough to react to your physical responses. Home cinema takes on a new meaning when you add interactive video layers that use emotional analysis based on your phone's front-facing camera to adjust what you're watching in real time.

This is all really just around the corner, believe it or not.

"Right now you make a video much the same way you did for TV," Dan Garraway, co-founder of interactive video company Wirewax, said in an interview this month. "The dramatic thing is when you turn video into a two-way conversation. Your audience is touching and interacting inside the experience and making things happen as a result."

CNET reports that 5G will propel annual revenue from immersive and new media applications from zero to $67 billion within a decade, citing a forecast by Ovum commissioned by Intel. For context, that matches the value of the entire mobile media market – video, music and games – last year. Overall, Ovum and Intel predict 5G will more than triple the mobile media market worldwide, reaching $420 billion in 2028 from $170 billion this year.

Imagine the possibilities in this new dawn of 5G where your brand can react to real-time emotional cues from your audience? The mind boggles.


Movies are a reflection of culture and from a brand’s point of view, there are loads of innovative storytelling devices to steal from. If you’re looking for inspiration for your next brand campaign, just pop down to your local cinema...or else drop us a line.


We’re here to help.





 New call-to-action

More Posts

New Call-to-action

Certified Experts in today Top Cloud Systems