Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Hollywood Babble On & On #285: When Good Brands Make Dumb Mistakes

Imax, the Canadian invention that takes the "big screen" experience to a whole new level is getting a bit of a blog-based bitchfest aimed at it over their Imax Digital movie theatre system. Folks are paying an extra $5 a showing, expecting a monster-sized picture, and discovering that the screen really isn't much bigger than a conventional movie screen.

How Imax did not see this coming in blazing sharp definition is really beyond me.

While they may that it was a good idea to slap their name on this new digital projection process, all in the name of promoting their "brand," it was in fact a bad idea. A really bad idea.

The Imax "brand" is identified with ginormous motion sickness inducing mega-screens, not slightly larger than average screens. This Imax Digital controversy has now associated their precious "brand" with ruined expectations.

And the sad thing is that it could have been avoided.

All Imax had to do was to come up with a cool sounding name that was different from Imax, but associated with Imax. Something like DigiMax, or HiMax, but less lame. (Just look at Hollywood history at the dawn of widescreen cinema for inspiration)

Toss in a marketing campaign that told audiences that the Imax folks invented a new system that improves the ordinary theatre experience in quality and quantity, and you could have avoided the whole backlash.

But instead they listened to the so-called marketing gurus, who told that the Imax brand itself was the be all and end-all, and they gacked it, big time.

The lesson here is that sometimes to protect your brand you need to create a new brand.


  1. Hi Furious D,

    I am terribly excited. Your book just arrived! I ordered it a few weeks ago, but there was some kind of delay. Anyway, it came over lunch and I can't tell you how much fun it was to open. I've only just flipped through it, but I did notice we're neighbours. (To be honest, I am only a little surprised.) Now you must let me buy you that coffee, because I want you to sign my copy of SHA'DAA. Please?

  2. Amazon was probably holding it back til the book's official May 1st release.

    Read it, enjoy it, and if possible we'll work out some way to get it signed.

    I do try to keep the details of my identity a secret thanks to the fatwa issued by Sumner Redstone. ;)

  3. You ain't kidding with Imax. I watched the new Star Trek in the regular screen first and was dragged into the Imax showing because my buddy wanted to see it "Big".

    What a gip! It was akin to watching a widescreen DVD with black bars on the screen and nothing more. The Dark Knight had Imax moments, but this was a $4 dollar rip with louder speakers!

  4. I realized how ridiculous my request was yesterday, shortly after I made it. I will blame my lapse partly on excitement and partly on dimwittedness (regrettably, I have my moments). However, in my defence, I have a great weakness for signed books.

    SHA'DAA is now at the top of my to read pile. I look forward to enjoying it. Have a great weekend.