Marc Bresseel, VP Global Marketing Microsoft Advertising opened Imagine London and set the theme for event. What do we see as the ‘new digital’, how does this enable brands to tell stories and why story telling is of importance. A mix of very engaging speakers gave their view on why stories matter in the advertising space.
The New Digital
‘The new digital is less about a new capability of digital media and technology, and more about the coming together of a few forces’ says Bresseel:
- A new time and place for digital as an entertainment medium,
- Changing consumer behavior and
- The evolving role of digital across the consumer journey and in cross-media experiences
The Importance of Story Telling
Story telling is of importance as it is a great way for a brand to connect with their customers and to start a dialogue. Stories have the ability to create an emotional connection, one that can make a lasting impression and ultimately build a lifetime connection.
Niku Banaie, Chief Innovation Officer at Isobar says technology has allowed consumers to connect on a deeper level with a story. Have you been watching Lost? There was a site where viewers could hunt for more clues in between the screening of episodes which kept audiences engaged. The ‘We tell stories’ site from Penguin Books shows a new way of sharing literature. Banaie says ‘it is important to understand the central premise to your story and then create innovative actions that enable the story not simply tell the story’.
Mark Borkowski, Leading publicist and media commentator, points out that a week's worth of news now contains more info than an 18th century man would come across in his life. So we should ask ourselves why our audience should care about what we have to say. Brands need to take a leap of faith with their stories and build them up from their foundations. Technology is not your story, it is your narrator.
Dave Coplin, UK Search and Social Media Evangelist approaches story telling from a social & search point of view. There is a very real shift to trusting information handpicked by those you know (think Tripadvisor). Seeing their recommendations in your search results tells you a useful story on where you might want to go and what you may want to buy (or avoid).
Nicola Mendelsohn, Chairman of Karmarama and IPA says in history the storyteller has always been the one with power. The power of good stories is enduring such as for examples the cave drawings in Lascaux proof. The best stories tell us who we are, they are easy to remember and they can offer a framework to us. So why do we need stories? Because our brains are programmed to accept patterns, stories and storytelling always been a way to make sense of things and cut through the clutter. So it doesn’t come as a surprise then that the single most important factor necessary for a brand to connect to all audiences is presence of an enduring story.
If we weren’t convinced enough now by the importance of storytelling Alex Riley, Senior BBC Journalist gives an entertaining account of the discoveries he made for his BBC 3 series ‘The Secrets of Superbrands’ With the help of marketers, brain scientists and exclusive access to the world of the superbrands Alex set out to find out why we buy them, trust them, even idolise them.
I find it somewhat frightening when his brain scientist exclaims that a lot of what we do is down to basic instincts that our emotions drive the rational, we actually have no free will’ but the more people Alex interviews the more it becomes apparent this might be true. We are seemingly a slave to our emotions and we want brands that share our values. Coke or one of its sub brands is the No.1 soft drink in all 204 of its countries except Scotland where it is Irn Bru. Why? Because Iron Bru somehow precisely conveys the character of the Scots in their ads (‘down to earth’ says the Iron Bru man in the clip). Final lesson from Alex: ‘You may have all the newest technologies but don't forget you're speaking to a prehistorical brain’
How can Microsoft help to take your story forward?
There are plenty of digital advertising opportunities. It now becomes of importance to connect these opportunities so that they are used to tell your story.
We help you do this by:
1. Driving more effective campaigns through consumer insights and data base targeting
2. Providing flexible and robust platforms that allow storytelling in context
3. Content and advertising integration across platforms, PC, Social, Search, MSN Mobile and Tablet, to reach audiences in the right mindset.
Stories would not be what they are today without technology. Digital enables you to pinpoint an audience, at deliver the right message in the right context. At Microsoft Advertising, we help brands to connect more deeply with consumers through relevant content, insight, data, and technology. Reach your relevant audience today.
Watch our recap of day one: