Recently I saw a special on Pixar’s movies, and the documentary included the following scene from Toy Story 2:
After the video, the doll explained “You never forget kids like Emily and Andy. But they forget you…”
The film’s director, John Lasseter, explained that if you saw this you didn’t think of these items as toys, but you believed they were real. How easy is it to watch that video and think ‘Aw she got left behind!’
Pixar does a wonderful job of taking inanimate objects, and making them seem ‘real’ and more human to us. This is a big reason why their movies work, because when it’s easier for us to view the characters as ‘real’, then it becomes easier to connect with them, and easier for us to become interested in the story that they are a part of.
And if you think about it, this is the exact reason why social media works for companies. It makes companies ‘more human’. Social media has the power to transform behemoth companies into an organization of people just like us. When I was at #DellCAP a few weeks ago, I asked the group of ‘fans’ of Dell the reason why they chose to evangelize the company. I explained that I wasn’t sure if I was an evangelist for Dell, but if I was, it wasn’t because of the products they sell. It’s because of the people I have come to know that work at Dell. And those connections have been formed via social media. So if it comes down to my next computer being from Dell or Compaq….well thanks to social media, I already have several friends at Dell, and can’t name one person at Compaq, so guess who probably gets my business?
Just as Pixar makes inanimate objects ‘more real’, social media is making companies of all sizes ‘more human’. Which makes them more like me, and easier to connect with, easier to trust, and easier to justify doing business with.
Not sure where all this fits into the ROI equation, but it’s a real benefit, right?