Thursday, July 18, 2013

Seeing the same brand hallmarks in new ways: Lessons for N-of-8 from James Bond

When using the N-of-8 process, it’s important to remember that you’re not just writing a story – you’re developing a BRAND story.

So the core brand hallmarks must be presented and maintained consistently. But that doesn’t mean the story can’t be told in many different ways.

Consider the series of James Bond movies. Even across all the installments, there are elements that make a 007 Story:
  • British
  • Spies
  • Music
  • Bond girl
  • Shaken-martini
  • Villain
  • World domination
  • Opening
  • Gadgets-M
  • Cars
  • Gambling
  • Gun-eye
  • Branding (despite star changing)
  • Exotic locations
  • Big names
  • Q
  • Cool
  • Sophistication
  • Clothes
  • Near death
With these central and fundamental ingredients, many stories can be crafted with their own unique locations, characters, plots, dangers, and fantasies.
Far from limiting your creative potential, defining the brand hallmarks gives a structure to which you can then build endless story possibilities.

The same principles can be seen when analyzing other popular movies series, like Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Pink Panther, and Rocky. That’s why I often use these as a warm-up exercise with our creative teams before we start writing stories for N-of-8 groups. It helps us find parallels, archetypes, villains, conflicts, and climaxes. We recall the look of the titles and credits. We even sing the theme song or hum the main chorus.

As you begin crafting your brand’s story, put together a list of the escapades you’ll experience.

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