One of my personal inspirations for ideation comes from the movies. An amazing Hollywood tentpole or unexpected indie can lead to a whole different way to invoke storytelling or kick off an integrated communications campaign.
Take the recent Hollywood thriller, A Quiet Place, for instance. It features a family battling a blind monster who reacts and kills only when he hears a sound. Moviegoing is such an intensely sensory experience, and the filmmakers removed one of our cherished guideposts. By muting major moments of dialogue, sound effects and score from the soundtrack during the movie’s first pivotal reel, the makers leveraged an act of omission to brilliant effect. The lack of sound gave way to clever innovations in characterization and pacing, with action sequences pulsating with primal intensity. The decision prompted the makers to dream bigger. It made the movie feel fresh and the stakes leviathan. It made my heart beat faster in the theatre and a friend blush when his stomach growled. The result: a monster hit, pun intended.
Instead of always adding to a campaign or program, see if you can strategically remove an element – and discover where that takes you. Creating withdrawal from McRib sandwiches, Unicorn Frappucino beverages, J.R. Ewing, Laura Palmer, Girl Scout Cookies and other pop cultural juggernauts have been the basis for entire campaigns.
Build mystery and intrigue on the way to your next creative success. In the meantime, here’s my review of the movie!
Photo courtesy of Paramount Pictures.