One of the biggest (and initially confusing) moments from Sunday night’s Academy Awards, was watching basketball legend Kobe Bryant win a coveted statue for Best Animated Short. After my original shock wore off and I remembered what he was nominated for, I got really excited about the groundbreaking moment. For those of you that haven’t seen his short film, “Dear Basketball,” which is based on a poem he wrote to announce his retirement, do yourself a favor and watch it here.
The great thing about the film is that you don’t have to like basketball or even like Kobe Bryant to connect with the story. He’s no trained screenwriter, but that didn’t matter one bit to the people watching. When you have a genuine message and are the authority of your brand, sometimes you can score big without years of experience perfecting a craft.
Here are a few key takeaways from The Black Mamba’s big moment that brands can think about as they search for unique ways to connect with consumers.
You don’t necessarily need to do something flashy like flying drones over a city armed with your product. Unless you’re Oreo. I’d like to see them do their epic Oreo drone dunk again, but I digress. You just need to create something authentic that will allow your brand to make a genuine connection with the consumer. No matter how great your product is, if it doesn’t make people feel something they aren’t going to buy it.
Find a good teammate
Your brand may have the idea and the message, but it is important to find a great content marketing agency to help bring your vision to life and assist with getting eyes on it. A PR agency can also help you choose the best vertical to display your content to ensure you will have a captive audience and receive top-tier impressions and engagement. Kobe enlisted Disney animator Glen Keane, whose animation credits include “The Little Mermaid,” “Aladdin,” and “Beauty and the Beast.” Not too shabby.
Don’t be afraid to go outside of your comfort zone
Kobe had already written the poem, but said he got his inspiration to turn it into a film from his 11-year-old daughter who told him, “Dad, you always tell us to go after our dreams, so man up.” Sometimes you have to get completely out of your comfort zone and dream up things that people may never expect from your brand, to create something that is memorable and drives traffic.
So be like Kobe. Tell a great story, find a great team and man up. You might just win a customer. Or in Kobe’s case, an Oscar.