Think of animation movies, when thinking of new communication techniques!

Sketches by Pooja Trehan

My Sunday binge was the lovely movie – Cars (the first one) – and that is when I wondered how these animation movies are a great inspiration for us, as communicators. Don’t go rolling your eyes on me, thinking how well she connects everything back to communications. But seriously, just visualise this for a minute.

Every animation movie has managed to create wonderful brand extension of their stories, connecting a minimum of 3-4 editions and beautifully growing each character in every movie. The key theme stays the same, obviously nothing changes there. But the characters keep evolving and yet speaking the same story (yes, yes, all movies with multiple franchisees do that, I’m aware).

So, I took the same lens and applied it to communications. Our brand or the organisation is the universal theme, around which we build our characters, and must I say, we should keep innovating with each one of them. Honestly, I’m bored with this word – innovation! Maybe we should start applying the term – eccentric / maverick / unconventional! Just thinking out loud. Simply because, as communicators everytime we suggest a solution for the brands, the thought process is to get across the messaging as memorably as possible, yet it should have enough stickiness in the minds of the consumer.

“You gotta let go of that stuff from the past because it just doesn’t matter! The only thing that matters is what you chose to be now”, quote from the movie Kung Fu Panda!

This is a quote from one of my favorite movies, that is apart from Shrek (actually the list is long, just sharing two of them here!). I simply love the main characters in both these movies. Absolutely unconventional – Shrek and Panda! Literally the underdogs and someone the world didn’t expect to perform, ever. But they got out of their comfort zone, fought the demons and got back to being lazy when they wanted to. Could we apply this to our communication plans, internal and external?

Let me explain. Let the brand speak when they can create and leave an impact. Highlight the strengths when the world least expects it. And most importantly, choose silence at regular intervals. Taking your brand out there all the time, every time to everybody – wont yield anything. So, choose your tool, timing, and technique – well!

Use all the characters well. Everybody can contribute a unique element to the whole storytelling process. This is more than evident in any animation movie you pick. In – Finding Nemo – of course we remember Nemo, Dory, and maybe Nemo’s father. Everyone got good enough screen space, some interesting roles to play and all of them came together when Nemo had to get home.

So, let’s take the pressure off our CEO or the brand spokesperson. Search for support characters – other strong and interesting voices within the organisation – spread the messaging network and showcase that the brand believes in their talent across varied functions. Yes, its an interesting approach, try and let me know your feedback. We have way too many platforms to communicate, remember the PESO model – so why not give knowledge sharing a nice twist.

All I’m trying is to motivate you, through this column and add a new element to our daily lives, as communicators! You are absolutely free to accept and try it, or simply move on, without giving it a thought. I shall continue writing and hoping to strike a chord, soon!

“Our fate lives within us. You only have to be brave enough to see it.”, from the movie Brave.

The views and opinions published here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher.

Pooja Trehan
Pooja Trehan, VP, Communications & Public Policy.

Building brands through story-telling is what keeps me going! Having spent 18years in this industry, I am far more excited to experiment on what's next to unlearn. Worked with industries across FMCG, Oil & Gas, Technology, Fashion, Telecom, Media House, F&B and now Sports, my curiosity to craft a narrative only gets deeper. Marathons, Black Coffee, learning about Scotch and Malts, reading everything i can, travelling, are few of other personal passions that I happily pursue.

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