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Workshops: The Movie

Workshops: The Movie

Creative Workshops: The Movie Exercise

In our advisory practice, we are often tasked with designing, executing, moderating, and summarizing workshops for our customers. This is because a workshop is a powerful tool to get a number of stakeholders together, take some decisions, promote some buy-in for new ideas, as well as, sometimes, expose decision-making to a different perspective. In this workshops often we invite external experts to provide a different point of view, we invite Leading Edge Consumers to generate unique insights and relevant solutions, or channel experts to develop effective route to market strategies.

Designing the workshop really depends on the objectives of the session: however we often leverage creative exercises, as a way to either disrupt he traditional/ internal point of view, or set the stage for more compelling concept development. Therefore creative exercises are useful, first and foremost, to build a working team, then to kick-off a team dynamic, and ultimately to get creative juices flowing. In addition to that, creative exercises serve also another purpose: when we talk about brand associations, for example, it’s important to get answers to the questions you can’t possibly ask directly. Some of the brand associations are so bound to our emotional and subconscious sphere that if probe them directly, we will never get a reliable or relevant answer, which is why we need to find ways of getting those answers indirectly.

One of the creative exercise which we use to build the team and kick off a team dynamic, while at the same time assessing subconscious brands’ associations is the “The Movie” exercise. In a nutshell, we split our workshop participants in teams and we ask the team to come up with an idea for a movie, which would represent our brand the best.

In particular, we ask them to develop a new creative plot, identify a director, the actors, as well as focus on logistical details, such as identifying very specific geographic locations, and detailed shooting locations. Teams are expected to sketch one or two leading frames for the movie itself, and, of course, they need to design all communication materials: the poster, DVD cover, the on-line banner ads. Finally we task each team with a marketing and commercialization plan for the movie, in a way that we get a clear clue on who is this movie target, how do we build awareness for the movie, how do we promote it, and so on and so forth.

By doing so, we let emerge from the exercise a number of emotional aspects and features of the brand, which we would normally hear in the response if we were to ask the question directly. In most cases, because those same answers are subtle, they are nuanced, and they are somehow unconscious to the participants.

In conclusion, at the end of the exercise, we sit down with all the participants and we discuss about the results. First of all, if there are multiple teams, we let each one present their own output, or otherwise, if it’s one team, we let them present their final output. And then of course, we discuss what drove each team to make certain choices, because the ‘what’ is as important as the ‘why’ when they take a certain route. This is where the most relevant insights come from. Of course we also let the teams challenge each other and enrich each other’s exercises in the spirit of creativity and collaboration.

Growth Adviser, Innovation Catalyst, Branding Architect, International Expansion Consultant. International change agent and leader, launched growth consulting boutique in 2012. We have four principal areas or intervention 1) Branding (e.g., positioning of new brands, re-positioning of existing brands, brand architecture and design) 2) Innovation (e.g., co-creation with consumers and experts, ideation, business planning, concept validation and fine-tuning) 3) International Expansion (e.g., countries screening and development of expansion plan, route to market strategy, portfolio) 4) Route to Market (e.g. marketing and commercial planning, portfolio analysis).