With the imminent release of one of the top movies of the year, the appeal of Minions will leave many of those who haven’t invested four hours or more following the adventures of the not-so-evil Gru and his miniature army scratching their heads in confusion. And what could possibly make the head honchos at Universal decide that those weird little yellow creatures, who in the first movie were not even given their own actors - instead voiced by Directors in an Anglo-french babble, should now be given their own movie?
Of course, public demand is key in this decision but since the Minion movie has been made the whole world has gone more Minion mad than ever. So what is so alluring about these creatures?
The Minions first chomped, whizzed and destroyed paths into our hearts helping the lovable and not-so-evil Gru save the world in Despicable Me (2010). They then made their repeat performance in Despicable Me 2 (2013) before proving to the world that they were worthy of a show of their own.
Minions is the first movie (certainly to my knowledge) that has created a back story for a secondary character or group of characters in a movie. Something similar has been done with sitcoms before now (Joey) where a secondary or support character has continued their journey into the future in front of the camera. But never to the dizzying success of the Minions.
Could the appeal be in the star studded cast? Boasting celebrities such as Jennifer Saunders, Sandra Bullock, Steve Coogan and Alison Janney we can be pretty confident that Minions the movie will draw in the crowds.
Perhaps it is their cute, cuddly appearance? But they are still loved even when they become crazed, indestructible, purple machines of devastation. Could it be the fact that children love them because they are slightly crazy and more than a little naughty? Could it be that parents love them because they keep children entertained whilst promoting the virtues of bananas?
Maybe it’s the utter hopelessness of Minions such as Kevin, Bob and Phil? Or the fact that going to watch Minions pretty well guarantees that you will laugh from start to finish until your sides ache. In truth it is partly all of the above, but it could also be the increased elevation of Minion madness could come from the fact that the Minions have a story.
Beyond helping Gru foil the evil Machismo and protecting Gru’s young adoptees in their fight against the cunning Vector, the Minions have a past. More than that. They have a past that we can plot against history we are familiar with – not personally you understand- but the times of the ancient Egyptians, the dinosaurs, these are all moments in time that we have heard about, read about, maybe even dreamed about, and now we can watch the Minion's escapades through these familiar landmarks of time, learning more about their love of bananas, their mistakes and their successes.
We all love a good story and by giving the Minions a story the clever crew from Universal are fuelling our love of these squidgy yellow creatures, and in turn sending sales of Minion merchandise and licenses into the stratosphere. But we can all learn from this. You can use this approach in your business. By telling a story about your existence, your passion, and what drives you to do what you do, you move your customer’s love of your brand away from their cerebral cortex and into their heart. It becomes an emotional attachment, tied into ethics, belief and passion. In doing so their decision to use your business becomes more emotion al and less commercial - and emotional decisions are often much more difficult to fight than commercial ones.
And my story? Well that’s a whole new blog altogether but it has its fair share of bananas, a couple of villains and not quite so many dinosaurs!