In Bloomberg Businessweek April 22 – 28, 2013, a story about a comic book as an annual report was fetching enough to inspire this morning’s article.
The funny thing was, I read the name of the corporation using a comic book to inform shareholders as Lowe’s, my favorite giant hardware, lawn and garden store. Alas, the brand is Loews, just a transposition error.
Loews is a holding company for hotels, sells business insurance, and produces energy. Imagine writing an annual report for a company as diverse as this.
Its comic book annual report, also being called a graphic novel, stars Lotta Value, an investment hunter, who gallivants around Loews’s holdings and business units on adventures.
The creative team obviously had to think harder for this one. One critic of comic books in the article said the illustrations are “dead.” I’m impressed, but who am I?
Actually, I’m most impressed with the public relations team that earned nearly a two-page spread in Bloomberg Businessweek for Loews’s first foray into comic books as an annual report; complete with all the illustrations used in the “13-page graphic novel.”
Corporate communications teams that write annual reports need to dig up inspired creativity to cut through communications clutter for shareholders, stakeholders and other interested audiences.
Using comics, however, is a crapshoot. Just the drawings alone have to be remarkable. For a corporation as diverse as Loews, the illustrations and copywriting have to be way above on the creatosphere. It boils down to whether the concept appeals or if the communications team just doesn’t care.
Bloomberg Businessweek’s take on all this is pretty believable, so I’m going with that:
“The bottom line: Loews wants to attract more individual investors to its stock, which has returned an average of 16 percent annually for the past 50 years.”
Using drawings and stories for annual reports means the company is ready to take a few risks and keep on going. With the birth of PI Lotta Value, the corporate communications team has a whole lotta (heh) opportunity to develop more communications vehicles featuring these cartoons.
I wonder if Lotta Value will become the next inspiration for a new TV series ala The Walking Dead?