Movies and Storytelling

One of the axioms I try to follow daily is, "Don't go home until you have a story to tell."

Having this outlook makes for a fun personal life. But it also helps guide the work I do as a marketer, because it helps define exactly what makes for a good story.

There are a plethora of ways a brand or product can create a story. It could be the marketing, the packaging, the distribution, the price, the name, the company or inventor behind it, or of course the product itself (to name a few).

Yesterday, AMC Theaters gave another good example. In preparation for tonight's Oscar Awards, they held a Best Picture Showcase featuring all 10 Best Picture nominees.

Now, the theater could've just projected all 10 movies over the last couple weeks and probably done a fine business, since movie attendance always goes up once a film has been nominated for an Oscar.

Instead, they showed all 10 movies back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to... well, you get the idea. 21 straight hours of movie watching, from 11am Saturday until 8am Sunday. Of course we went. For the films, yes, but even more for the story. People were there in pajamas, with pillows and sleeping bags. (Fortunately, the Tree of Life was in the afternoon when people were less sleepy. A 3am start for that one would've done us all in.)

It was a fun event and created a great shared experience for all who were there. The funny thing is, it was a company delivering the product it always delivers - movies. But by breaking a rule of the moviegoing experience and making it an all-night event, the company delivered their product in a story-worthy way.

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