Pixar is a creative powerhouse. Its fourteen feature films have earned 27 Academy Awards, seven Golden Globe Awards, and 11 Grammy Awards.
But for all of its innovation – and its related refusal to accept the status quo – Pixar has an important relationship with reality. Its approach depends on its ability to create a world that is recognizable, but different. Expectedly unexpected.
And two quotes from Pixar directors – taken together – paint a smart, productive approach that any company could learn from:
“I believe in research. You can’t do enough research, believability comes out of what’s real.”
– John Lasseter (Cars)
“We don’t want to reproduce reality; we want to make the unbelievable believable.”
– Brad Bird (Incredibles)
Most companies do research in order to understand. And that’s a good thing. Understanding allows marketers to make things relevant. But relevance has a dark side. Make something too relevant and it becomes expected. Or worse, invisible.
Pixar’s approach is successful, in part, because it doesn’t settle on reality. Understanding the world is a first step to diverging from it.
You have to know the rules in order to break them.
Interested in more stuff I find interesting? Follow me @casey_flanagan on Twitter.