Storytelling: What Pixar’s 22 Tips teach us about brand PR and content marketing
A couple years ago, former Pixar story artist Emma Coats (@lawnrocket) tweeted a series of “story basics” or guidelines she learned on developing memorable and compelling narratives. The tips were a huge hit online and resonated with a lot of folks across all creative industries – writing, publishing, producing, marketing, public relations, advertising, art, film and content creation.
Coats’ storytelling tips are still making the viral rounds, and while Twitter was the ideal vehicle to help disseminate these timeless to-dos from her personal blog, one thing was lacking: pictures.
Ironic coming from an artist, right? As marketers are coming to know, visual storytelling is the crux of a new form of public relations and brand currency. This is evident in the rise of content marketing and strategy, the movement towards brands as publishers and a greater focus on infectious, aspirational positioning. A good story will always find its audience if given the right platform.
Coats was writing from her own voice as a former employee, not sanctioned or devised by Pixar; she was motivated to share lessons from personal experience, not from any brand strategy or content perspective. Pixar was the operative word to give her post clout (Klout) to begin with, but perhaps the lack of images was the secret ingredient for appealing to a cross-section of creative industries. It helped spark imaginative translations across the board. It wasn’t about Pixar, it was simply about the craft. But the Pixar name captured attentions and provided the credibility for sharing.
Recently Imgur contributor DinoIgnacio took Coats’ 22 tips and translated them into lovely visual storyboards with Pixar stills. It’s fun to revisit these now with images – and how different the impact can be when a great quote is affiliated with a great (brand) image. It’s as if a time machine took us back to 2011 and Pixar decided to issue the content itself.
So it’s come back full circle to the brand and with a very important lesson to content marketers: Loyalists are everywhere. Live, breathe and build brand values in every detail of operations. Then authentic content will generate from all sources, even if it takes a little while to get there.
DinoIgnacio writes – “I superimposed all 22 rules over stills from Pixar films to help me remember them. All Disney copyrights, trademarks, and logos are owned by The Walt Disney Company.” Well, thanks. They help us remember them too.
Here they are for your viewing enjoyment: