Once upon a time…

As someone who spent his University days writing TV scripts and the odd travel blog, one of the biggest things I’ve been looking to find out during my grad program is what role – if any – the old art of storytelling can play in digital advertising. Outsiders may assume that online narrative is limited to three frames on a banner ad – they would be wrong, thankfully. The reality is technology has always helped us to tell stories, so why should digital marketing be any different?

Last week I was lucky enough to run along to AdTech and soak up a bit of what the industry leaders had to offer. I say a bit because, if I’m honest, a lot of the more data-based content may have gone over my head. One talk I did enjoy, however, was by Publicis’ own Tim Buesing on storytelling. It was nice to discover that story can play a big role in online – if not more than offline. It is simply a move toward a more fragmented narrative structure rather than the linear style they still teach us at University. Of course telling stories across different media and platforms is nothing new, and you can find a host of Transmedia experts dryly discussing this phenomenon online.

For us, I suppose this means furthering a campaign or brand story at each consumer touch-point. Which leads to one of the main takeaways from Tim’s talk: story is the new branding. It would take someone a little more experienced than myself to flesh that concept out in detail, but as a junior in the industry who enjoys telling a good story, that is great news!


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