At a convention powered by the latest in technological innovation, it was the art of storytelling that captivated the marketing community at OMD Oasis. Claudia Cahill, OMD Content Collective’s President, led a panel comprised of the industry’s leaders in storytelling: Steve Peace (SVP International Media, Sony Pictures), Brad Jakeman (President, PepsiCo’s Global Beverage Group), Dawn Ostroff (President, Condé Nast Entertainment), Mike McCue (CEO Flipboard) and Bryn Mooser (Co-Founder & CEO RYOT).
Each panelist offered a distinct and fascinating perspective on the challenges and contradictions inherent in storytelling in a world that demands both short, snackable content as well as complex, immersive stories that fuel our deepest passions.
Whilst all agreed that brand storytelling has become a much more complex challenge because of both consumer expectation and the proliferation of platforms and channels, the solutions varied. Steve explained that at Sony Pictures, “a narrative structure has been created in which the first 3 seconds are comprised of 5 to 10 shots; a visual mnemonic of the very best shots in our film that pulls you into watching the entire trailer’’. And it’s a narrative structure that is powered by reams of data.
At PepsiCo, Brad built a Content Center because “it was the only way to create the type of content needed to keep pace with the need for innovation’’. He explained that technology provides enormous opportunity for the expression of ideas but the content is critical. “The holy grail is how deeply someone has engaged with the content and it’s not about reach’’.
Dawn shared how she started the Next Gen Studio at Condé Nast to create a storytelling capability on every single platform and admitted that making content for a younger, Millennial audience is challenging because “GenZ have grown up on a diet of content snacks’’ and that there remains a gap in longer form content that is made specifically for them. Mike reminded the audience of the importance of having clear and meaningful objectives and that “really high-quality stories should be the goal’’, not short snackable content; “any story, short or long, has the power to move the world forward’’.
Disrupting the content creation process
The opportunity to break the rules and to disrupt the content creation process was debated and Bryn explained that the mobile phone has been the vehicle for the democratization of filmmaking. It made it possible for anyone out there to shoot a film and tell a great story. Moreover, with Facebook and YouTube 360, the way you look at video has fundamentally changed; you’re now able to step inside the story, to experience what the person holding the camera sees and feels, bringing people right up close to events around the world. And that closeness is what fuels peoples’ voices and passions.
The discussion shifted into learnings for the audience and there were five key takeaways:
- Global vs. Local: Ensure stories are relevant across different geographies
At PepsiCo, a content slate is developed for brands and countries in advance so that the right content is crafted. Interestingly, 90% of their content is now developed globally and shared across territories.
- Immersive Storytelling isn’t achieved solely by technologies and tactics like VR and AR
Narrative structure can be incredibly immersive. Consider content strategy over longer timeframes to build out worlds and/or characters, and give people a peek into that.
- Be nimble and open to change.
The technology still has to catch up with the vision of storytellers so be prepared to try new things.
With so many choices for how and where to tell your story, it’s critical to simplify the complexity and focus on the goal of your story.
- Be Passionate.
Storytelling gives meaning to the world so embrace the emotion, chaos, and challenge of it.
To find out more about the OMD Oasis programming at CES 2017, please visit CES.OMD.COM
Long gone are the days when the whole family would crowd around a single television, completely focused on the screen for the entire duration of the programme. Today, family members consume different content in different rooms on different devices. All of this means that the traditional advert break is becoming less and less relevant – so just what does this mean for brands?
Ad blocking is already gaining ground, with more and more consumers eliminating ads they consider intrusive. According to PageFair, at least 419 million people are now blocking ads, a 90% increase in 12 months. This figure does not include content-blocking apps, in-app ad blockers, and opt-in browser ad blockers. PageFair forecasts the global cost of ad blocking to reach $41.4 billion in 2016. The best response to ad blocking is to make each advert as relevant to the viewer as possible so that it is a welcomed interruption rather than an annoyance. All messages will have the potential to become context-aware when TVs connect with other objects in the home and wearable devices.
Despite the general move away from real-time programming, certain big TV events will remain compelling enough for audiences to watch live, particularly global sporting events. But, there will be increased expectations for augmented viewer experiences through immersive content and second-screen interactivity. Netflix earlier this year announced a new second screening feature providing viewers with supplemental content which can be accessed through their mobile devices. Further brand integration with entertainment content will be key going forward, from product placement (making a brand visible in a scene) to product immersion (making a brand an integral part of the storyline). Brands should also take advantage of device fluidity – connecting TVs with other screens and platforms allowing owned content to flow from screen to screen – to provide a connected and holistic viewing experience.
Success today lies not in targeting more people, but in how brands reach consumers with personalised content based on their environment or needs. Addressability allows brands to show different ads to different viewers while they are looking at the same content, such as Destination Canada’s ‘Explore Canada’ campaign. The more a brand knows about its target audience, the more it can refine its message and deliver maximum impact. Personalisation is currently broadly limited to viewers being able to choose which device they want to watch media content on, and getting suggestions for future content based on their viewing history. We are also seeing trends in the personalisation of viewing content, such as NFL NOW, a video network which allows sports fans to build their own channel of content by selecting their favourite teams or players. In the future, personalisation might start to influence storylines based on viewers’ preferences, or perhaps even by syncing with the viewer’s emotional, physical and haptic biometric data.
DRASTICALLY CHANGING VIEWING HABITS IS ALREADY PROVING HUGELY CHALLENGING FOR BRANDS.
As Nikki Mendonça, OMD EMEA President, explained at the Future TV Advertising Forum, it is the role of media agencies to cross-pollinate (like bees) between the emergent walled gardens to create powerful custom audiences, which will become the marketing currency of the future.
However, she warned that “there is a lot of value in the so-called wastage.” We need the reach of TV, even if targeting is very valuable: P&G scaling back targeted Facebook Ads is an interesting example.
Ultimately, we need to follow the same marketing principles as we always have. We still need a powerful story that reaches the right people at the right time and in the right place. The brands that are leading the charge in giving individual viewers what they really want will reap the rewards going forward.
Want to know more about the Future of TV? Email us at [email protected]
It has been a significant couple of weeks for our understanding of the developing TV landscape. The convergence of TV and Internet technologies has been spoken of as some kind of future event for the past 15 years or so. Now, more than ever, we can understand it as something that has happened and will continue to develop.
The over the top global TV platforms continue to scale.
Netflix announced a global partnership with Liberty Global giving access to a further 30m homes worldwide driving growth beyond the current 29m subscriptions outside the USA. Additionally, RBC Capital Markets reported that 42% of UK internet users used Netflix to watch TV/Movie content in the past 12 months, compared to 54% for YouTube and 62% for the BBC iPlayer.
In terms of high-profile content, Amazon announced a launch date of November 18 for ‘The Grand Tour’ maybe the most prominent global reach show to date for an OTT platform. Twitter streamed their first live NFL Thursday night football match between the NY Jets and Buffalo Bills. In the VR space, the first VR Emmy went to the Oculus Story Studio. We are now witnessing premium content propositions, in virtually every genre, being made available through these new platforms being launched every few weeks.
On the other side of the convergence coin, the traditional broadcasters and platforms have been taking advantage of new technology led opportunities. At IBC in Amsterdam, Sky recently discussed the launch of Sky Go UK inventory sold via the Videology platform on a programmatic basis enabling brands to access content such as live English Premier League outside of traditional broadcast.
At IBC a range of new TV screens were launched that go beyond 4K into High Dynamic Range, Wide Colour Gamut and Ultra HD. Content in these cutting edge formats is more likely to be initially delivered over IP rather than broadcast.
It is not just a zero-sum game, these platforms drive each other.
Nielsen in the US report that increased viewing of related content on YouTube drives viewing of a TV show. Consumers are happy to bounce between platforms, especially on the same device, to create a more personalised experience. Measurement of this behaviour is now a global scale challenge requiring new methodologies for TV measurement, in-store attribution and cross-device targeting.
We can now see a path to better monetisation of video impacts delivered over IP. No longer are they something that is hard to measure, scale and trade. Consumers have taken to new platforms and formats, especially younger and more affluent consumers. Global platforms are creating and distributing some of the most high profile and sought after inventory. Brands can now also access that high-quality content through a range of new buying mechanisms.
Convergence has positive impacts on TV, we just need to frame the opportunity a little differently.
This was very much the focus of discussion amongst the media and advertising community at IBC. It is now especially relevant to have a deep understanding of many audience segments. Through conditional insight, testing different hypotheses and experimental design, we can recognise brand differentiators through value creation mechanisms. A clear measurement framework that operates across devices, platforms and approaches is now the most critical challenge to deliver on the opportunity of the post convergence TV/AV landscape.