Last week I posted the teaser video for the Creative Mornings short film documentary we’re producing. In that video, Dwain Cox (director of innovation for Chick-fil-A) quotes famed marketing and branding expert Marty Neumeier: “Be good and be different, but if you can’t be both, be different.”
I love that quote. That mindset about being different has been a mantra of mine as far back as high school. I recently had an opportunity to live it out again in one of the latest projects we produced: the promo video for Mighty 8th Media, a branding and marketing strategy firm located here in the greater Atlanta metro.
Mighty 8th takes their name from one of the WWII fighting squadrons of Spitfire planes. Previous promos they had played on a WWII and/or nostalgic movie theme (e.g. old newsreel style music and effects, etc.) There’s nothing wrong with that. In fact, to be honest, I originally intended to do just that. Then Chipotle of all places inspired me to do something “different.”
Yes, you read that right. Chipotle. The chain Mexican restaurant that serves up fresh and organic food. (We would eat Chipotle every night if their burritos and burrito bowls weren’t nearly $7 each after tax. But, it’s worth every bite). If you ever go inside a Chipotle restaurant listen carefully. What do you hear? The rhythmic tunes of a Latino beat? Nope. The sultry sounds of a salsa song? No. When you walk into a Chipotle Mexican restaurant, you will hear something more along the lines of a rave tune. Or a classic 80’s dance remix. You’ll hear all kinds of alternative sounding music; but what you will never hear is Latin music (at least not any Chipotle I’ve ever visited here or in Silicon Valley.) There’s something oddly intriguing about being in a Mexican restaurant that’s booming disco rave dance beats instead of Flamenco guitars.
I wanted to do something similar with Mighty 8th’s promo. Despite their retro feel and design (even their website plays “Sentimental Journey”) I took a chance and chose a song for the promo that is more contemporary. I think it worked out perfect. Even one of the project managers specifically pointed out that she thought it was refreshing not having another nostalgic tune for the video.
Don’t Be Afraid to Be Yourself
The last tidbit I’d say about this piece was our goal to really capture the essence of the personality of the team. As a branding firm, you might originally think their promo should be very serious and stodgy. It must be something that appeals to managerial elite. But the team at Mighty 8th, besides being amazingly talented at their craft, are also a fun, down to earth bunch. They’re paired off in their seating, which they call “Pods” and frequently crack jokes about their pod mates. They know how to work hard, but they also know how to have a good time. There really is a sense of family among them. That was something very important to express.
When producing a promo for yourself, or your client, don’t be afraid to make it true to the “personality” of the client. Even if you think that may turn some people off. The main thing that will distinguish you or a company from competitors is that personality. When you’re up against dozens of other companies vying for your attention, it’s important to be yourself. To be…different.