A special essay by ex-NCD of Mullen Lintas.
“Sh*t, we also need PRINT, RADIO and oh yes, TV too...”
Yes, we have come a long way but there are miles to go.
Welcome to the tip of the iceberg. To say things have changed, is a gross understatement. The bigger point is how things have dramatically changed since last year or maybe even yesterday!
It’s easy for me to say that now that the majority of consumers watch advertising or content on their phone screens, my craft is lesser valued or given less respect. The fact is that I would be undermining the consumer, because they too have vastly evolved. So, my team and I are actually up against a more nuanced viewer aware of and hungry for better standards of content.
Therefore, as a writer and creative team leader, even the preparation that goes into creating a piece of content for a brand is far more researched and goes through many more rounds of internal weeding out.
An idea now needs to have multiple story cuts addressing a wider variety of audiences and execution across many more mediums. Which means that the strategy and storytelling needs to be far more broad-based and execution needs to be far sharper. Hence the creative philosophy of 'One Brand Many Stories' – it's the best way to address brand communications now. Viewers and consumers know when a brand is being pushed to them. They would rather just like it to be delivered to them in a manner in which it acknowledges their intelligence and sensibilities.
We live in a time when brand loyalty is probably at its weakest. However, content that evokes emotion, stirs up discussion, generates social commentary is still king and can still create loyalty. Given the way today consumers are consuming content and making decisions on purchase, marketers are beginning to realise that advertising content today cannot be that one magical coin that you insert into a slot machine. We now know that video is the highest performing brand asset and that it drives real business results if delivered to the viewer in a programme that is personalised and entertaining. And if one studies and looks closer at some real comments left by users on these assets, it actually is live and honest feedback. It shows the mirror to us creators and puts craft back up on the pedestal.
Earlier, stories were passed down from generation to generation. Today, multiple stories are available on my phone. Yes, Content is King, and even more so, video is King. Data now tells a creative team the kind of content being consumed, where it’s being consumed and at what point the user loses interest. Which in turn means that the opportunity to tell mini stories (many stories) under the same brand thought is the optimised way forward. What’s even more interesting is that each data point can become a story. Therefore as a writer, I’m listening and observing even more than ever before. It's a golden time to be a communicator and content creator.
(The author is Chief Creative & Content Officer, Tilt Brand Solutions)