Pixar’s brand in animated movies is successful because they simply have strong content and they have high barriers of entry that a potential competitor has not been able to overcome. Pixar is the animated movie wing of the Walt Disney Corporation. Each of its 14 movies has been very successful in terms of box office revenue and many of its movies have been nominated for Oscar consideration. I love their movies, as do many adults. Pixar is one of the top brands in media. They make animated movies that are a hit with kids, but their story lines have a lot of substance for adults.
Recently, I attended one of their movies for leisure. I couldn’t help but mix business with pleasure. As the movie was progressing, I began to think about Pixar’s brand and how it is put together. In the business press, Pixar is well thought of. It has a solid reputation in business and marketing circles. I observed the audience. The audience was made up of both kids and adults.
Sure, Pixar’s movies are animated. This genre is attractive to kids. That’s why kids go. However, I am an adult, and Pixar has created a brand with me. I was very expectant of the date of the release of the movie that I attended. Pixar’s movies have a brand with adults as well as kids.
As a general rule, I have come to the conclusion that a company should never market to just one group. This has made me think about Pixar’s branding strategy. A marketer wants as broad an audience has he can get, but a brand should never targeted for “everyone.”
In observing, Pixar I have come to the conclusion that there is an exception to every rule and Pixar is the exception to the branding rule which says that products should be targeted.
Pixar is something like the Model T in 1908. Henry Ford did a brilliant job of marketing and branding his car. The Model T was directed to everyone because virtually every American wanted a car, and there weren’t good alternatives. In 1908, there was a small middle class. In our nation, in 1908, most people were struggling financially. Low cost was the most important factor in any car brand in 1908. The Model T could do this. The Model T was a unique brand in a unique time in our history. Pixar is the same way.
Pixar’s movies have a great story lines, and they have immersive computer aided technology. Pixar movies are an overwhelming content for adults to watch. The quality of its content and the capital that is needed to make and market these movies creates a huge barrier to entry. I don’t see how the brand could be varied —an animated movie is an animated movie. Perhaps another movie house at some point will create an umbrella brand —create two renditions of the same brand. The way this would happen is that if some movies were made just for kids, and another group of movies would be designed with adult themes and be obviously created for just adults. A General Motors model for branding in animated movies.
In addition to the high barriers of capital, Pixar is also well run. Pixar has 3 overriding principles that it uses in creating great movies. Everyone must have the freedom to communicate with everyone. There has to be an environment in which it is safe for everyone to offer ideas. At Pixar there is an attitude that there is no idea that is not to outlandish. The creators of the content for Pixar’s movies stay close to the academic community. Pixar is located in the Los Angeles area. It is located near technology houses, such as the lab at USC, that do game changing technology in the area of game technology.