Monday, March 21, 2016

Is it getting in the way?

You probably know by now that I take cartoons really seriously. As seriously as my Zen classes. There is something Zen about them. Really.

So I was researching the other day about what Master Shifu said in Kungfu Panda 3 and something hit me (see I told you there is something Zen about cartoons).

I was at the goofs section of Kungfu Panda 3 in and it was listing the things that were “wrong” (goofs) with the story. Like how did Tigress know where the secret Panda village is when it is a secret and Tigress was never told where it is? Or that when Master Oogway ‘wrote’ the word ‘chi’ in the spirit realm, the audience could see the actual word hence Master Oogway must have written it in the opposite fashion.

I nearly went into seizures thinking how it would have been had the creative team over at DreamWorks Animation presented the storyboard to some people I rather not name here. How many revisions would have to be done? How would the story meander as the team establish how Tigress knew about the secret village? Because you know the audience would want to know that and someone would complain and all hell would break loose!

It’s exactly what happens every day in the dark dreary world of advertising - inconsequential comments and convoluted concerns getting in the way of good storytelling. Not just storyboards but layouts and graphics. You name it.

Go ahead and have some fun. Look up your favourite movies at, then look for the ‘goofs’ section. Read the goofs of your favourite movies. Did they affect the way you ‘consumed’ the movie? My bet is, you didn’t even know! And now that you know, did it change the way you feel about the movie? Most probably not as well!

It’s the same with advertising. Consumers look at the big picture. The sum of all things. They rarely care about the things we debate for hours in our conference room.

Is it relevant? Is it entertaining (interesting)? The communication we produce should be that – relevant and interesting (entertaining even). All else that gets in the way of the storytelling should not be discussed.

Are you a good storyteller?

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