Sunday, November 14, 2010

A $500 million movie idea - based on a brand lesson from RED vs. Unstoppable

Unstoppable is a pretty good movie. From a branding perspective, it proves the "law" that successful brands are about delivering consistent value. I didn't even have to know the plot to know that if Denzel Washington was in it, it was going to be worth watching - and not just on DVD, but in a theater. Read: nearly $10 ticket price, per person, when all of you can see the same thing on Redbox for $1. Wow.

Yet RED was even better. Let me tell you why.

The culture of branding today has shifted away from celebrating the individual. The truth is, individuals are only of limited interest, because people today are so distractible, so distracted, so used to multitasking, as well as so demanding that every moment of their time be maximized, that they want to focus their attention on many things at once. The synthesis is more important than the one.

In RED, it's not all about Bruce Willis the hero (as Unstoppable is about Denzel Washington), but it is about celebrating the entourage - amazing, great legendary actors John Malkovich, Morgan Freeman, Helen Mirren, and Brian Cox. Even the "weakest link," Mary Louise Parker, added something important to the mix that would not have been possible without her presence.

If your goal is to get 50 million people to pay $10 each for your movie, lean toward casting a great entourage rather than a single star.