Why it's time to kill advertising as we know it and start building 'storyworlds'Sonal Mishra
When it comes to advertising, brands often use words and phrases that may or may not be fully understood. Sometimes, advertisers use tag lines or jargons that leave consumers totally clueless. For people who are looking forward to switch to another brand or may be try an altogether innovative product from a new brand, this is not something that they appreciate. They would prefer a company that pays more attention to population cohorts when designing advertising campaigns.
Yet, the plain fact is that young people are the biggest consumers in the present economy, and they are excited by stories. So what is storytelling, and how it is slowly, but effectively, taking over archaic methods of advertising?
Image credits: Odyssey
The paradigm shift in advertising
This is the golden age of digitisation. With multiple platforms to advertise, the need for brands to focus on delivering campaigns that cater to wider audience is more than ever and continues to grow with each passing year. From TV to computers, mobile devices and smart gadgets, brands are expected to publish quality content that not only promotes their products and services but also engages readers with a considerable amount of relevant, informative and compelling stories. It should be something that’s thick, something that can add value and comes with longevity. This is where storytelling stratagem comes into the picture.
Lisa Cron’s, Wired for Story talks about the science behind a story and how years of study in neuroscience has concluded that human’s brain is hardwired to respond to stories. Given the connection, pleasure and excitement that we encounter from a tale well told, it is only natural that we pay attention to the content being offered.
It won’t be wrong to say that everything from the business world to entertainment properties have colossal stories to tell. With immense data on neurological levels at our disposal, we also know how people respond to storytelling campaigns over traditional advertisements. So should you build ‘Storyworlds’ for your business? How do you begin? How do you plan to keep track of it? If you’re perplexed by these questions, you are not alone. From fortune 500 companies to startups, companies are still looking for answers that can guide them to developing better advertising strategies.
Create stories that are universally acceptable
There’s no point in creating brand stories that only cater to specific regions or demographics. On the other hand, creating multiple stories pertaining to the cultural difference of each region would be a costly affair, and this doesn't even sound feasible. The best practice is to work around areas that are universally acceptable. All you need is to assemble a team comprising of visionaries who have the ability to fathom the DNA of your brand and inculcate understanding while producing content. If it helps any further, identify points where you would like your story to be told. Depending upon the kind of exposure you desire, you can collaborate with media houses or production & distribution companies to find a niche for your storyworld.
Decoding user engagement
Building a storyworld demands more than just pitching an idea. Many brands fail to make an impact despite their enthralling stories. Techniques required to spin a good plot to translate a virtual idea into reality aren’t just about hardware but also about the environments and interests of the target group. Brands need to leverage the future environments to build stories. While technology can assist in this predicament and provide the solid foundation of creating user engagement, the way we narrate these stories has to be decoded from our end. While creating teasers, live streaming events and television commercials are good ways to test the waters, getting your hands into experiential events, short series and exhibitions are a few other platforms that would keep up with the evolving interests of your audience. Create something that is not only original, but equally entertaining and in sync with the expectation of your customer base.
Since building storyworld demands hefty expenses, a lot of brands, especially startups, often refrain from taking the path. Most include the strategy in their five-year plan but aren’t sure if they would be able to make way for it in the future too. Is storytelling really that expensive? Indeed it is, but ROI is much greater than what you get from archaic advertising practices, and this is something that can be said with certainty. We can make stories that are powerful and long lasting. While traditional advertising reaps results as long as they are on display, story-based content stays forever and generates revenues unremittingly.
This is the era where you dream big and put a full stop on old advertising methods. Discover and nurture the new paradigms of connecting with your audience. Start storytelling and become a storyteller, for this is what the new generation is looking for. So what are you waiting for?