The immersive experience afforded by Imax is an exciting proposition for moviegoers. However, the company's recent move to create the role of executive vice president of brand and creative reflects a need to better immerse consumers and businesses in an additional story – its own.
Filling the position earlier this month was Sky's former head of strategy and planning, brand and creative, Denny Tu, who brought to the fore an entertainment and creative agency background to help "draw the curtain back a bit and showcase what makes the Imax brand so special".
Tu told The Drum that Imax is intent upon telling the story of its 50-year heritage, however he caveated: “We have to ensure that we’re communicating the right things, to the right people, in the right way. We won’t put out mass-market ads and be done with it.”
He is tasked with deepening the relationship with both consumers and B2B partners, and to do so, “it is important that the brand message is fit for purpose”.
Imax is in the unique position of holding a platform that still wows audiences, so the creative has to equal that proposition. He added: “Creative campaigns are most effective when they end up making you feel closer to the brand. They’re the ones that bring unique facets of the brand to life that you may not know about - that drive meaningfulness and real relevancy to your life.
“We want audiences to connect with us emotionally and make them care about our offering.”
Expanding on this, he touted the brand’s recent collaboration with Dunkirk director Christopher Nolan, an intense movie custom-built to herald the power of Imax cinema in a world where small screen, pirated or dual screen viewings are eroding viewer attention, and immersion.
Tu’s role was newly created, and he said this move reflects an evolution in the company and cinema itself. He’s bringing to the table a new and different skill set, as well as a new way of thinking, while working directly under chief marketing officer JL Pomeroy.
On her role he added: “She has a great vision for Imax and is a fantastic person to lead this side of the business. I’ve worked with her in the past so we’ve already established a strong and close working relationship.”
Quality will be the cornerstone of much of the work, said Tu, alluding to it being the point of differentiation between it and pretenders to the throne. “For years Imax has developed its technology to deliver the best-in-class and most immersive cinema experience. This level of quality is a key differentiator and the reason why people choose Imax against other entertainment alternatives,” said Tu.
He went as far to say that his role will encompass not just driving the messaging of Imax forward, but the industry itself.
To further describe the company’s goal, Tu quoted an unnamed colleague as saying: “The mission is to transport audiences to places they’ve only dreamed of, but most likely won’t ever get to – whether that’s to the top of Mount Everest, outer space, or riding in the Batmobile.”