As touched on above, the most interesting observation of all (and one that goes all the way back to the classical oral storytelling tradition) is that great stories were never set in stone, but forever changing as they were told, influenced by audience reaction and then re-told; being passed on from one generation of storytellers to another. While the digital environment offers new channels and accelerated interactivity, it still echoes the ancient tradition of storytelling by mirroring the importance of the audience in the process. In both instances and across the centuries, the audience and consumers are there to listen, to develop and to share.
The rise of generative adversarial networks, a method of training content-faking algorithms, has an expert in fake videos concerned for the future of video as a source of truth. In addition to footage, provenance and authentication will be required to assure viewers they are seeing what the camera captured and not something added in later by a human or machine.
[Fakers] can create fake images or short videos using machine learning techniques: in particular, generative adversarial networks (GANs), which learn to generate fake content. These pit a network that generates fake content against a ‘classifer’ network that attempts to discriminate between real and fake content, so that the faking network rapidly improves.I’ve seen the technology get good enough that I’m now very concerned. In 5 or 10 years, this is going to get really good. At some point we will reach a stage where we can generate realistic video, with audio, of a world leader, and that’s going to be very disconcerting. I would say that the field of digital forensics is now behind in video.
The Content Standard offers thoughtful advice about combining analytics and storytelling to acheive business goals that are not typically considered when investing in a content strategy. The migration from simply having digital tools in place to effectively changing business results with narrative engagement involves many steps.
Saassy Software may be a made up-brand, but it’s representative of the tunnel vision that many businesses can fall into with a narrowly defined sales funnel. By tying your content marketing metrics directly to business-level goals, you can sometimes hone your content strategy to a point where it misses out on broader ROI and opportunities for iteration. Proper storytelling while implementing analytics can help fix this.
Steven Soderbergh’s upcoming interactive mystery will be a title to watch, both in terms of audience success and narrative style.
Director Steven Soderbergh—the man behind Magic Mike, The Knick, and this summer’s Logan Lucky—just released the trailer for his latest project. He made it with the help of HBO, but it’s not a movie or TV show. Instead, Mosaic is an interactive narrative app that will be available for free download in November. Co-written by Ed Solomon, it’s a murder mystery starring Sharon Stone that lets viewers click through a growing web of “chapters,” deciding how the homicide investigation unfolds.
Here is a suggestion for Facebook to resolve the Russian election interference with an open and useful approach to helping customers understand the impact of the Russian disinformation campaign: Post to each user’s feed a “statement” (think bank statement) about whether they: 1.) Were exposed to a Russian-sourced article; 2.) Clicked on or viewed the article/video; 3.) Liked or shared the content. Then, let people learn from and share their lessons about what they trust on Facebook.
[T]he deletion of the posts and the related data struck Albright as a major loss for the world’s understanding of the Russian campaign. He still has the data and the posts for the six pages he examined, but as others become public, there will be no way for independent researchers or journalists to conduct a similar examination of any of the other 470 pages and accounts — or any others linked to Russia that may emerge over subsequent weeks or months.
McCann’s one-ton-one interviews between 20,000 employees and people “on the street” is a solid investment in learning the customer’s views. Translating that into a brand story, guidance for companies generally, and into the basis of its advertising theses, on the other hand, will require extensive analysis and judgment about when to introduce challenges to the customers’ thinking. “The customer is always right” is part of the problem we have today in the economy. Sometimes, companies need to appeal to customers’ better angels, not just serve their wallets. There, in a nutshell, is the brand leadership challenge.
“Understanding how to engage with the consumer today has never been more challenging, as we grapple with the complexities of both our own nation and the world beyond” says Mark Lund, CEO, McCann Worldgroup UK, adding it is “essential for us to go beyond the news headlines to look at the deeper story and uncover the key tenets that will shape the relationships between brands and consumers in 2018.”
Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel talks about context in storytelling. Following on my comments earlier today, short video and imagery is the new point of entry for engagement. However, they have to lead to real actionable content. If you want someone to watch your program, give them a surprising short example. If you want them to act on a decision, such as a purchase or a vote, the initial video touch has to provide access to deeper background information.
With Context Cards, Spiegel is attempting to rethink the way we discover new information. Currently, he explains, people find stuff on the internet by typing queries into search boxes and following hyperlinks to the content. Consider a YouTube video. “You upload the video, and you tag it with a bunch of text,” says Spiegel. “If you want to go find that video again, you type in the text and it surfaces the video.” In other words, the text directs you to video.On mobile devices, Spiegel believes that the
As storytellers, we should be thinking in terms of using mobile video and experience to move the engagement to the big screen. “TV” and ‘digital video” are converging, and I think the distinction has become misleading.
The amount of attention that an individual can provide to media has its limits, though, and growth is slowing. Time spent with mobile nonvoice will rise by 12 minutes in 2017, and will be offset by declines in time spent with desktops/laptops, print, radio and—most of all—TV. Despite this, TV will remain the most time-consuming traditional medium for US adults. The format will account for 3 hours, 58 minutes of daily time this year; however, that’s down 7 minutes from 2016. It’s also lower than eMarketer’s
Amazon is considering opening its video channels to advertisers. This lowers the bar to sampling of new content by consumers, while keeping the path to paid access open. Video discovery, which lays the path to cross-media engagement and binge watching ad-free programs for a fee, is the next great curation challenge.
Although AVD’s [Amazon Video Direct] current ad-supported program is comparable to YouTube’s offering, advertisers aren’t bullish on it yet. Media buyers said it doesn’t give out as much information about ad performance (including return on investment) compared to YouTube and doesn’t allow third parties to audit how well the ads are doing, with one media buyer calling it a “black box.” It’s also pricier than YouTube. For these reasons, many companies still think of YouTube as the de facto video platform to advertise on. But if A
Clorox has embraced story-telling, starting with the recognition that its use of data produced initially “hollow, vacuous brand moments,” according to CMO Eric Reynolds. Story development is not simple targeting and segmentation based on demographics, it must look beyond the short-term traffic gains that are often measured in lieu of long-term brand impact and trust.
AdExchanger: How did brand building play out in your media mix?
ERIC REYNOLDS: It’s about balance. There are certain stories we want to tell, and we’re trying to match our creative to that. The question is: What’s the unit that can tell that story? You can’t edit 30- or 60-second TV ads for online video. If we’re going to tell great brand stories, we have to do upper- and middle-funnel work on digital. We’re still getting the creative, data and platforms together to create something unique and influential.