In this guest post, Jen Dobbie (main image), creative director at Hotwire Australia, says ultimately advertising is merely storytelling and offers her expert tips to put more zing in your brand’s tale…
The Wicked Bible is a deliciously named, and tempting title for a storied series of mistakes published in 1631. Its pages house the erroneous seventh commandment, transcribed from the King James Bible, that gives it its name; Thou shalt commit adultery.
Love letting that one sit for a minute. Shalt thou? Well, if the bible says so, then we’d best give it a go. Love the thought of people having a yarn at the marketplace in the aftermath of the publication. The word of mouth and earned on the Wicked Bible would have gone off.That single omission put so much at stake. Fast forward a few centuries, and a million miles an hour in the speed at which we live our lives, can – and should – a single source of storytelling still hold as much sway? When we delve into the myriad nuances and channels of today’s business brand, marketing and comms – I’d argue there’s never been a greater need for it.
Off the cuff comms
Responsiveness is the clarion cry of socially delivered storytelling; to be able to respond almost before the OP finishes their thoughts – a skill demanded of any storyteller in the industry today. Yet tactical reactions require strategic understanding. To deliver such brevity and pace requires a depth of understanding borne from:
- Time – the nuances of the platform, the language, the audience to whom it best speaks.
- Context – considered, contextual storytelling, based around unique strategic insight into the business issues at stake, and the brand for whom we are solving them.
OK, so maybe having a campaign idea or narrative platform as a sounding board allows brevity, speed, and limits brand damage from disjointed messaging. But does it allow for broader stroke messaging, too?
The joy of subtext
The creation of context within which decisions are made by audiences involves planting the seed – the need state of why and what’s in it for me.
The sheer volume of available data now allows plotting and hitting of narrative beats – what will people want to know, what will they care about, that this product offers? Armed with the single source; the machinations of copywriting and channel lanning come to life.
Freed from short-form shackles; unbound from myopic channel focus; opportunities abound to soliloquise and summarise. Billboards, bus backs, meta quizzes, emails, experiences, TV and radio. Using the single source as their springboard, creative teams jump into a million considered, planned channel executions, all flowing back to the one agreed thread.
Freedom within these parameters allows for the confidence and beauty of great storytelling through B2B and B2E. The Didion dubbed art of placing dreams in another’s mind. With the combination of multiple data points, and a single, smart story to tell – B2E storytelling is less the blunt tool of numbered process; instead freed by information to work with audiences to make their own choice. Drive themselves to act.
Reaching hip pockets by sparking heartsAs demands on the ROI of sales, marketing and brand storytelling activities increase; they are matched by the capabilities, data specificity and personalisation opportunities of the technology through which people receive those tales. It makes sense that those demands also increase on the capabilities and efficiencies of the storytelling experts to whom clients turn.
The campaign idea or narrative platform is the wickedly simple, deceptively smart way to weave data with strategy and get straight to the heart of the tale. Once agreed, they protect against siloism within the business; delivering joined up thinking that galvanises and inspires all teams to one shared goal for the duration of the project. Delivering left right and centre, all roads lead from them, dispersing into brand activation, and awareness pieces; lead generation and media releases.
Perhaps now is the perfect moment to create the commandments of communication – a single storytelling source to deliver all the strategic, sizzle and sales results that modern storytelling demands.