Creative techniques to strategically attract audiences.

Posts Tagged ‘Creative’

3 things Godzilla 2014 taught me about creating awesome content

Posted by Alex Rodríguez

The new film version of Godzilla 2014 has premiered, and I simply cannot wait to watch it. Aside from the fantastic acting that I’m sure Bryan Cranston will delight us with, the cinematography in the trailers just looks fantastic and true to the original (very much unlike the 1998 bore-fest by the same name). Godzilla is here, it’s huge, and it’s scary as it should be.


The movie’s publicity team has been doing a great job of keeping the subject afloat, with a precisely-timed teaser that barely revealed the monster’s face, up to the more recent ones in which more of its features are shown. I’m sure it will be a complete smash early enough before the usual Summer Blockbuster season.

Now, I believe we can use anything as an inspiration for good creativity. The question I want to entertain for a bit is: What can we learn from Godzilla from a content development point of view? Here are three thoughts:

1- Godzilla is a fantastic example of evergreen content.

The gnarly monster’s first appearance was in the predictably-titled film “Godzilla,” from 1954. Since then, the world has never again been the same. Even though Daikaiju (“Giant Monster”) films have existed since the King Kong era, there was a celebrity status written all over the giant lizard.

However, something about it caters to our natural fears and sense of insecurity, in such a way that the Godzilla concept refuses to get old. Even the older movies are remembered by younger generations as if they grew up with them. The impending success of the 2014 version of the movie will be due to a very simple fact: Nobody needs to be convinced that Godzilla is a household name. It already is, therefore the newer derivations will be consumed.

I doubt the original creators could imagine that 60 years later, we would be discussing Godzilla as if it were a completely familiar concept to us.

If you’re generating content for long-term results, don’t overlook this fact. You’re better off sticking with content that won’t look or feel old after a year or two.

Lesson: Nothing says you cannot create content that resists the test of time, so don’t purposefully block it from happening.

2- Godzilla is an example of a strong identity.

There are certain changes and updates you can make to Godzilla’s identity, but if you go too far, it crosses the line into becoming just another Kaiju. In fact, this was the main gripe against the 1998 film: It was not upright enough, its muzzle was too long, it looked too much like a crocodile, etc.. From what we can tell from the trailers, even though the 2014 version looks different than the 1954 version, it still managed to preserve the main identity components that bring it instant recognition.

When Godzilla came out in 1954, as goofy as its special effects seem to us today, it had the “it” factor. There was a unique identity to it. Even the screeching/roaring sound, created through very rudimentary means during its origins, saw its way into most of the Japanese versions of the films.

My children say that they will shout with joy if in the 2014 version, they get to see Godzilla shooting its famous luminescent blue ray from its mouth, and in the same turn will be disappointed if it doesn’t. Without each of these elements, Godzilla loses a bit of its identity. It becomes Superman without the cape, Mickey Mouse without the round ears, or Bart Simpson with his hair slicked back instead of the jaggy points on top.

When creating content, we need to be aware of which brand we’re writing under —whether a corporate voice, or a personal/professional brand — and then our content decisions need to be curated beneath that. Anything that departs too much is going to break the perception in your audience’s mind that this is coming from the same source they signed up for, and may alienate a good number of them.

Lesson: Don’t be afraid to build your branded content with a strong sense of identity; but once you do, be very careful about making drastic changes to it.

3- Godzilla is popular because it appeals to our emotions.

This monster has got the “larger than life” motto down pretty well. Something about seeing Godzilla walking through streets and tearing down building after building appeals to our deepest feelings of frailty and insecurity. At the same time, its sheer magnitude makes us look upward in awe. It’s almost the same sense of amazement we felt when we were children and found out about dinosaurs for the very first time;
only much scarier, and therefore more real to us.

The creators of each Godzilla film don’t hide their intentions, they’re right there in the open. The big fanfare soundtrack, fire and explosions, massive destruction, everything is built in a way to appeal to emotions we all know you feel. They can direct their film decisions towards these emotions without shame because they know there’s no way they can be wrong about what you’re feeling.

When we generate content that will be processed emotionally rather than intellectually, there’s no reason we need to be subtle about it. Be as clear as you need to be. The more genuine your intention, the better chances of actually identifying with your audience at a deep level.

Lesson: Build content that is emotionally appealing, and be bold about making your intentions clear.

Can you think of any other ideas or takeaways from Godzilla? Add some of your own ideas in the comments.

Ask this simple question, and you will grow (guaranteed).

Posted by Alex Rodríguez

”Am I smart or dumb?” “Am I a success or a failure?” “Am I a hard-working individual, or a lazy person?”

Nope, none of these questions are candidates for what I mention in the title of this post. However, the reality is that we spend our whole lives constantly asking this type of question. Maybe many of you — as has certainly happened to me — have been asked similar questions by others. We are being judged by ourselves and by others for what we are, placing labels coming from who-knows-where.

The problem with this type of questions is that they simply do not push us towards growing, maturing, nor moving forward. By the way, it doesn’t matter if these questions paint us in a positive or negative light, the result is the same: Stagnation.

For example, if I’m labeled as a failure, making an effort to change won’t matter, because it’s useless; I am who I am. But in the same measure, if I’m a success, it’s also not necessary to make any efforts, because I’ve already reached the top of the mountain, the goal in the race, and there really is nothing left to do.


Do you feel your creativity is limited? Think again.

Posted by Alex Rodríguez

The vast majority of Western music is composed using thechromatic scale, a palette of just twelve distinguishable sounds. This might seem painfully limited. A twelve-color palette evokes memories of Crayola and preschool. Twelve words is way less than what the first sentence of this paragraph contains.


Yet based on that limited palette of sounds we’ve heard everything from epic Chopin piano concertos to theprogressive-metal mastery of Tool.

Think about this next time you’re required to create within limitations, whether it’s resources, time, energy…

These three simple tips can help you destroy procrastination forever

Posted by Alex Rodríguez

Have you ever struggled with not doing what you know you must do?


One of the books from author Seth Godin which I read a while ago, named Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?, dedicates plenty of pages speaking about a phenomenon he calls “The Resistance.” I don’t intend to go into the explanations of why Godin believes it exists, but I do want to define it

The Resistance refers to the force which pushes in the opposite direction when we are attempting to move forward towards something that is good for us (not superficially good, such as comfort or pleasure, but rather something actually good for us in the long run).

For example, if it’s good for our health to begin working out, The Resistance will push us to stay on the couch. However, don’t be fooled into thinking The Resistance will always want to keep us inactive. Sometimes, it will push us to become more active than necessary. For example, if it’s good for us to go to bed early because there’s an important commitment the following day, The Resistance will remind us of the pleasure of staying late watching movies and playing video games.


How to nuke your creativity in 3 easy steps

Posted by Alex Rodríguez

So – your latest problem is that you feel you’re being too creative. Ideas are just flowing out of your brain like, I don’t know, something*! You’re now suffering because you’ve turned into a creative rock-star, and who wants that?! No wayes!

No worries, we have the cure for you! In just three easy steps, you can effectively nuke the last bit of creative energy in your soul. After you’re done, your ideas will be as dry as a bowl of GrapeNuts seasoned with sawdust and gravel (and no milk for you!). Just follow these steps exactly… don’t you dare do different, son!



Creatively burned out? This might help you get back on track

Posted by Alex Rodríguez

Are you currently feeling burned out? Believe me, I understand. It doesn’t take much to get you into that funk, but oh, how hard it is to climb out of it.

A lot of the times, the impression is that you just have too much stuff to do. The reality, however, can be a combination of things. Maybe what you’ve been doing is just not interesting enough. Maybe you’ve been doing too much of one thing, no matter how awesome it is, and you’re just plain bored.

No matter what got you into that state, you feel you just need some C-H-A-N-G-E.