13th November 2019 Don’t limit your creative communications
This December, Star Wars fans (myself very much included) will see the summation of 42 years of the Skywalker legacy, when the eagerly awaited Star Wars Episode IX, The Rise of Skywalker hits the cinemas.
I appreciate that Star Wars isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but there is method to my apparent madness in starting a blog about creative communications talking about the title of a movie. Please bear with me…
Many business owners I’ve spoken to over the years are happy that they have an in-house marketing / creative function; they have that box on the corporate strategy ticked. While that may well be the case, it isn’t always true. I have a set of golf clubs in the garage, but I haven’t swung a club at a ball on a course in around 18 months, so having the kit (or people in place) doesn’t mean you’re making full use of your assets.
At Kava, we work as an extension to our clients’ marketing teams; becoming ‘part of the furniture’ means that we become ingrained into their work and deliver fantastic results for them because we really ‘get’ their objectives.
So while some businesses don’t see the need, or even the links between what they are doing and what we can do to enhance, improve and amplify their good work, I have a Star Wars-based analogy to help define the role of an agency in the broader communications mix.
An important part of running a business is leadership, and an important part of leadership is recognising your own strengths and weaknesses and those of the people around you. By embracing the variety of strengths available and giving people the scope to use their abilities, truly great things can happen. But this doesn’t come without a comprehensive plan.
You may have the most efficient thingamy on the market, the fastest whatsit available, or you might be the best at spinning a whizzbang. But if your marketing, strategy, website and PR doesn’t reflect that and fails to amplify that message to your audience, you’re likely to be missing out.
So where does Star Wars come into this? Simple.
Ralph, in short, was a genius. He was also an incredible artist and, as it would appear, an amazing listener – which will become clear.
Many years back, I read an article online about some of Ralph’s work. He was approached in the 1970s by a young film maker who had a concept for a film unlike anything else. It was a sci-fi film, but instead of being set on or around Earth hundreds of years in the future, it all happened a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away.
George Lucas approached Ralph and asked him to create some concept art for his new script. Lucas understood that, in order to sell his idea as best he could, the words he had created needed something more tangible – something more comprehensible; art.
Interestingly, Ralph completely got the concept and understood George’s vision – as can be seen from the art he created. But importantly, he didn’t feel constrained by what was conventionally believed to be possible in terms of making movies because he didn’t think the film would get made – it would be too far-fetched; too expensive. For that reason, Ralph didn’t feel the need to hold back.
When he created the concept art, he let everything go – he embraced Lucas’ vision and captured it perfectly. So much so, that when the film did get picked up, and George couldn’t explain something, he’d simply point at Ralph’s art and say ‘do it like this’.
There’s a link to the original article I saw further down, but before I get to that, I want to explain why this means you should consider including a creative comms agency as part of your team, and how our actions and inputs can really bring to life the work of your in-house team.
Many film makers wouldn’t have seen the need for concept art at such an early stage, but Lucas did. And it paid off. He could have touted the script without the art and hoped for success – maybe he would have got it anyway, maybe not. But because he got the artwork created without boundaries, it gave a blueprint for the films and subsequently, the success – the films were essentially designed by Ralph – how they looked, the effects – without Ralph they could have looked (and performed) very differently.
In the same way, in-house marketing teams can really benefit from an outside creative influence. As a marketing manager for a specific company, there will be a set of preconceptions that are adhered to, and they will most probably generate a specific level of success. But by thinking outside of the box, and bringing in experience earned through countless other companies, sectors and campaigns, the results can be so much more.
At Kava, we don’t feel constrained by what’s been done before and as a result, our work is similarly out of this world!
As promised here is the link to Ralph McQuarrie’s concept art. As you can see, it’s not only amazing, but almost identical to the films
Still don’t think you need a creative agency to support your marketing activities?
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