Don’t underestimate the power of COMICS

Posted by  admin —September 3, 2008
Filed in Creative Stuff, How Stuff Spreads & Changes, Vizual Thinking

So what do Google, Scott McLeod and comics have in common? They have just collaborated to launch Google’s Chrome Web Browser.

Why comics? They are visual … they tell a story (which are hardwired to understand) … they turn the ‘complex’ into the ‘simple’ AND they are FUN!

When Clay Shirky talks about the fall of tradition organizational structures (Institutions) in the “collaboration” space that is Web 2.0, he also points out that traditional institutions resist the new (often creative right brained) approaches to business and marketing. Here is a classic quote from CNN’s article “Google unveils free browser Chrome” that shows they just don’t get it! They key word here is “Although”.

  • Although Google is using a cartoonish approach to promote Chrome, the new browser underscores the gravity of Google’s rivalry with Microsoft, whose Internet Explorer is used by about 75 percent of Web surfers.” CNN

I have plugged Scott McLeod’s book Understanding Comics before … it is a terrific read and a must for any would be communicator. Scott has inspired me to incorporate pictures and comics into a project Evaluation Report that I am working on at the moment. Who reads heavy, dense text anymore? I don’t and I am determined to practice that I preach.

So what do we learn from Google’s bold venture? Some would say that using comics to launch a multi billion dollar product is a big risk. Of course, word of mouth on the web will do most of their marketing for them AND if Chrome has real ‘value’ to users it will ‘go viral’ and start to erode Microsoft’s domination in the browser-sphere.

In sum … here’s what I take from this use of Comics by 1 of the World’s biggest companies:

  1. Find a way to turn your message into a story … comics do this well and we are all familiar with the method
  2. Create emotion because without it we do not learn and have those ‘Ah ha’ moments
  3. Use pictures to support your key messages … Why? Just visit Dan Roam’s ‘On the Back of a Napkin’
  4. Turn your messages into a ‘product’ that others can easily share with friends … most CHANGE happens because we are simply INVITED to act by others who are like us … we are HERD animals after all (Hat tip to Mark Earls)
  5. When presenting using powerpoint (or keynote) make use of points 1 to 4 above … use Slideshare to allows others to download and spread your messages with others



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