We’ve finally arrived in Cannes after the long trip over (phew!). We spent a bit of time on the way over checking out what’s on the programme and it looks like ‘storytelling’ is going to be a big theme this year. Today we checked out the first seminar on this topic called #live storytelling. This was pretty awesome, moderated by Twitter’s Joel Lunenfeld but most impressively featuring the views of actor – Sir Patrick Stewart (aka Professor X).
The seminar explored an idea that’s already starting to manifest in the industry as we look to adjacent creative industries (like newsrooms, writing for TV shows, stage acting etc ) to find ways to improve the creative product. And as cliche as it sounds, technology (ie. social media) is driving this change. It’s forcing brands to start acting more like content creators beyond just their advertising; or as it was summarised in the seminar ‘it’s not about advertising you, it’s about community building’. It seems that the key to community building in advertising, is similar to that in society – creating stories that people can build on and make their own. Just think of it like a modern version of the oral storytelling tradition where someone tells a story, and then it’s interpreted, built on and shared by another.
What this move to storytelling means is that brands can’t rely on the traditional structures or tools of a marketing departments (ie. focus groups and pretesting). Rather we need to look at becoming nimble, experimental and brave. This was perfectly summed up by Lunenfeld when he said ‘we’re set up like classical orchestras but it’s the age of jazz’. It’s time to learn how to riff.