I am a true believer that is it should always be about the story. Craft a good story, and people will believe, align, follow and support. With the onslaught of social media platforms and data, and the speed of messaging, the importance of story has gotten lost. Brands comb through the data, attempting to understand what consumers want to hear, they then lock in on what is believed to be a “big” insight, churn out the creative and release onto whatever social media platform is deemed the most relevant at that time. What this process has given us is brands that have multiple messages, for multiple targets, with no connection point to a bigger story, and let’s face it, it is just an exhausting process that advertising agencies and content creators are asked to do over and over again.
But, what if we all took a step back, and refocused on creating a story, a beautiful, vivid, comprehensive story. Give creatives and creators the room to breath vs briefing creatives with the formats they need to fill. In my humble point of view the minute a creative hears “we need a 15-sec version, a 30-sec version,” the opportunity for big conceptual thinking evaporates, leaving behind a checklist of content buckets to fill. Now, if we gave creators the opportunity to build the big story, and from that big story we use the various media formats and platforms to tell different, expanded sides of that story, the experience with that brand over multiple touch points will feel connected, provide an opportunity to deepen the narrative, and hold a person’s attention for more than the eight-second average.
Digital Storytelling, a newly sanctioned gathering at the Sundance Film Festival, is drawing attention to rediscovering the story. Over the past few years, everyone has been driven to believe the answer to attracting viewers and consumers is in the data, there’s truth in numbers, numbers will show us the way, but what numbers can’t offer is heart, personality, and emotion, and those are exactly the attributes that attract, well, humans. I, for one, am pulling for the return of the narrative.
Read more about Digital Storytelling at Adweek.
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