2012 the movie, a disaster in 2009

The esteemed research team at the BOBI

As I squirmed in my reclining chair at the Cineplex in minute 150 of the new world’s-a-endin’ movie, 2012, it occurred to me that I was watching a disastrous disaster film that mirrors what’s wrong with most limp efforts at advertising.

Who tsunamied the written word?


2012 takes an intriguing idea (Mayans say in 2012 it’s curtains for the planet), a $250MM budget and a disaster flick director (Independence Day/Godzilla guy) and delivers a SFX-spectacular dud.

You leave the theatre feeling empty as the script.  (http://www.mediafire.com/?enzyhwgyz4m)

They cheaped out on the writer.  The dialogue is embarrassing.  At one point a character actually says, “But to be human means to care for each other, and civilization means to work together to create a better life.”  The poor lead actor, Chiwetel Ejiofor, was forced by contract to say these words.  That’s just wrong.  This guy has serious acting chops, he was Othello for bards sake.  These words could have be penned by the Director, Roland Emmerich, or Harald Kloser or by Matt Charman, who received a credit as “Script polishing by Matt Charman.”  I’m guessing it wasn’t Matt, nothing polished about that line.

I must commend them on one thing though:  they resisted the temptation to flash massive titles on the screen that said things like “HERE’S THE MESSAGE PART” and “THIS UNLIKEABLE CHARACTER IS GOING DOWN” and “STEP-FATHER IS RICH BUT SHE DOESN’T REALLY LOVE HIM.”

When crafting a communication vehicle – from blockbuster to blog entry – there must be some insight into the reader’s level of understanding on the topic.  The 2012 script writer was, apparently, aiming at 6 year olds.  If that’s your audience, fire away.

If you are talking to people, for example, in the supply chain software business, first clarify your messaging, develop your concept or big idea and, most importantly, execute it with intelligence and freshness of thought.

Resist the retreaded. Take a stand against trite.  Conquer the commonplace. (And avoid cheap alliterations.) The 2012 script includes heavy doses of all of the above.  And so does much what passes for advertising.

In a series of videos we produced for RedPrairie (www.bobvserp.com), the big idea was solid, the casting superb but it could have all fallen flat without the right words delivered with perfect pitch. Watch the videos and judge for yourself how the dialogue connects with the viewer to more powerfully communicate the message.  It also helps to have a talented cast who understands your messaging goals.  Each character (including the 3 falling-down funny characters above) brought a little something to the role that wasn’t simply putting their skills on display but moved the viewer in the intended direction.

Words matter.  I believe they are the most important asset in the advertising portfolio.  And, best of all in these lean times, words are EXTREMELY cheap investments.

Hire m3digital and I guarantee we won’t submit a script that has the line, “Anheuser, we’ve got to stop this madness!!”

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