In a recent insight workshop with a brand team, the question of the power of movies and brands to change culture came up. We often come across movies, ads and brands that surprise us when they happen. Consider Lust Stories and #Tinder for example. Did they reflect existing culture or are they changing it?
The answer, in our view, is the former. The success of a cultural idea, be it a movie, ad, brand or any other form, no matter how new, unexpected or even shocking, is a reflection of a society’s desire for things to be that way. Not everyone, but a significant segment of society. It also tells us why certain new cultural ideas fail, because not enough people want it that way. Same for movies and for brands.
Brands need to remember this – you can at best make a ball already rolling down a slope, roll down faster, but not make it roll up. Of course, you need to spot the slope earlier than others do, that’s where iconic success stories lie.