Just after the 62nd Cannes Lions edition praised by techs companies, some say that beautiful advertising changes course. This statement isn’t sure, however advertising is definitely questioning it’s future.
Were do we go from here? What does advertising’s future looks like? What will become the dream-job I had when I was 12, the one I chose when I was 18, and the very same one I started to practice with the greatest joy at 23 in the agency I thought was the most exciting adventure of all time?
Their acronyms are blazing; I think it’s modern. Their name make the planet a field of action, I think it’s exhilarating. They claim out loud their magnificent supremacy; I think it’s galvanizing. Their campaigns juxtapose in an ad landscape that breaks no channel, I think it’s provocative and amazingly challenging. We have at our disposal our very own creativity and the 26 letters of the alphabet to catch the consumer’s attention. It’s all about to enthrall, to involve the consumer in our stories. Words, tiny pile of words to assemble, to switch, to feverishly reconstructs. We are playing this alphabetical jigsaw hoping to find the right order, the right rhythm that will reach and affect people in order to create emotions and ideally create engagement in the end. What a challenge isn’t it?
I have no model, only references. Those embody the advertisements that make me dream and run to my computer. Those have breath, relevance and realism. There are neither technological illusion nor an ounce of useless tech innovations, just a connection with the consumer’s everyday life. Oh and let’s not forget style, yes there is style.
Of course advertising is made of a thousand things. Technologies are partly and deservedly a pride for the agencies as they allow imagining successful “campaigns”. Noticeable prototypes exist to compete in the most prestigious categories. However what seems to reach emotionally the consumers (John Lewis – Monty The Penguin – Adam&EveDDB), this little thing that makes them call a friend late at night just to as “have you seen that ad?”, this little thing able to establish ties and belonging feelings to a community is called storytelling. In my opinion this is a specific and warm way to charm the world. Deep in our souls.
In that big upheaval of our modern world of advertising, within our new economic stakes that force our agencies to refine their priorities, to throw new concepts, to diversify their offers, in short to refine themselves and bet on innovation, I bet that storytelling is still a true value, more than ever. A story well told is a golden nugget to pamper. It’s true, storytelling won’t guarantee the avant-gardist image that brands believe they really need to survive.
“Storytelling is still a true value”
But associated to brands’ DNA, storytelling will make the difference and will confer identity and creativity. This golden nugget is more likely to stop the Internet user, whether it’s on a computer or a mobile device, by imposing a break brought by surprise, justifying his or her visit in retrospect and encouraging the Internet user to share it. This is not about to throw a piece of information as quick as possible in order to be smashing. It is all about the touch, the wit, the universe and the specific speech of the brand. It needs time, it needs a specific Art Direction, the tone needs to be conscientious in order to break-up with the rest of the noise. There is a need of strategy (P&G/Always – #LikeAGirl – Leo Burnett Toronto), of core content (Jordan – Re2pect – Wieden+Kennedy New York) and knowledge (Leica – « 100 » – F/Nazca Saatchi&Saatchi São Paulo) and guts. An ad with a story well told rings a bell, generate attention, shaken certitudes and makes sense. This kind of ad plays a sensitive string to the consumer and makes him less indifferent.
“An ad with a story well told rings a bell, generate attention, shaken certitudes and makes sense”
Experienced storytellers benefit from more tools than simple connected objects! Photography, cinema, music, arts of all kind, illustration… such a wide rage that will never be out of date is still waiting to be creatively used again and again. of course, these are meant to work with the Internet, the wide range of social networks orchestrating, broadcasting, reacting and seizing the story (CBC – Abla Fahita – J. Walter Thompson Cairo) !
This recent campaign generated thousand of tweets all around the world. Furthermore, it has provoked direct questioning from consumers to their elected representatives and media… within 48 hours.
Time is a privilege, and storytelling definitely takes some to be great. It’s also a matter of support and trust from the moving forward agencies, because it it still what the Cannes Lions Festival keeps rewarding each year.