The Film “The Call” is a Metaphor for Digital Media

The CallSorry Brad Pitt (Moneyball), but Halle Barry is about to trump you with The Call, in theaters on March 15. The film’s executive producer is Philip M. Cohen, CEO of the Care Media dynamic signage network in medical waiting rooms by day. I suspect that Phil was considering the marketing metaphor that the thriller could provide. Who doesn’t love a good metaphor movie?!

Perhaps being a lover of digital marketing and movies causes me to expressly see one in the other, but I love a movie that uses a lens, time, place or scenario to depict some huge reality of life, and indicates a fundamental shift in how our world should/could/might work.

Moneyball was such a movie. Anybody that manages brand development understands the value and shift to better managing by the numbers and acting on these “outside the box,” through which big changes happen, and rapidly.

The story line of The Call is that a 911 operator faces her own past while working to save an abducted woman.

Brand professionals will see the do-or-die metaphor as portrayed in the short movie trailer (embedded at the bottom of this post). That arm being waved through the broken out rear tail-light might be the brand, desperately waving for attention in a sea of distractions.

The abductor and vehicle are the practices and the machinery of traditional media. Communication approaches that are numerous in their type and style, but all fundamentally the same — load up, put it in “drive,” await destination.

Enter Halle Barry, who receives the 911 call from “the brand” and serves as savior through… here it is… situation analytics. She claws with passion and effort to get the situation into the awareness of others, and into real time, while desperately herding the cats that live by the unspoken motto, “We do what we do, how we do it, when we do it.”

In real and in being a metaphor, I expect The Call will profile the high value of listening, “describing” and authentic interaction, of reining in emotion while managing through a situation, of using direct words to good effect, of location awareness, and the imperative of doing the right thing at precisely the right place and time to achieve the necessary. I suspect that the movie will portray that using immediate-term and real-time information is essential input to getting the results — to saving the brand from harm, torture and its demise.

Moneyball directly portrayed the inherent power of managing for success by using the real numbers. Champions of any worthy pursuit get what is expressed by Brad Pitt, acting as Billy Beane, general manager of the Oakland Athletics professional baseball team who saw, embraced and exploited “decision-ing by analytics.”

All who can imagine a desperate arm waving from the hole of a punched-out tail light will enjoy this movie through the thrill that The Call delivers when geo-awareness, time, place and action prevail over ultimate demise. Take the metaphor to your brand-building office the next day. It’s in theatres on March 15.

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Author:

Lyle Bunn

Lyle Bunn (Ph.D. Hon), independent Enterprise media analyst, advisor and educator is considered the guru of Dynamic Place-based media. He assists end users, integrators, suppliers, operators and investors to get the most from media investment. He has over 200 articles and whitepapers on the subject and is a regular presenter at dynamic media events. He was one of the first to deliver the message of dynamic location-based messaging to NAB and CES in the post 9/11 economy, and is referenced in the early pages of the NAB executive technology briefing as "one of the best known and best versed" in the business. Lyle was the only individual named to the Digital Signage Forum’s 2005 Digital Signage Top Ten List, listed among such corporations as Thomson, 3M, Clear Channel, Focus Media and others. Contact him here.

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