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New Age of Storytelling

New Age of Storytelling

The Facts

We all hear the word “Storytelling” in our business. It’s gotten so over used that most people can’t actually tell a story anymore. As marketers, we are all part of the ancient, campfire-born traditions − not Blazing Saddles after a plate of beans, but something more like Dances with Wolves waiting for the buffalo herds to arrive.

Spiker Insights

The ability to share stories has never been greater what with home entertainment systems bringing high-quality sound and visuals into our homes, automobiles and mobile devices. Modern audiences have a seemingly insatiable appetite for high-quality visuals, music, sound effects and the human voice (James Earl Jones, Richard Dreyfus). We in marketing have to keep pace as we fight for the audience’s attention. Not only do we as an industry carefully craft these stories, we do so often with over direction on the client’s part to use nothing but drone footage or videos with no gifted storytellers of writers and voice actors. Sure it’s cheaper, but it lacks the power of great stories and makes a difference in our customers’ lives. You’re not telling a story, you are merely showing a quick travel guide.

At our agency, we invest in real stories and in the storytellers who have a vocational desire to craft them. We are also advocates for embracing the new, the fresh, and the break-out-of-the-box sameness. Each of our stories has its own requirements, its own need to be told in a certain way. As such, a fresh idea and creative copy can help us tell it better and fresher and bring the story to life in a way only we can. As technology and the multi-platform evolution continues, we are living in an exciting new age of storytelling.

Let’s Be The Change

Let’s Be The Change

The Facts

We’ve reached a point where brands can no longer, and should no longer, stay silent about broad-reaching social issues. Employees are speaking up to hold their employers accountable to their own missions, and customers are loyal to brands they believe align with their personal values − whether that’s about sustainable practices such as the use of plastic water bottles or livable wages. It’s an exciting time for consumers and employees and is also the right time for brands to be thoughtful.

Spiker Insights

Supporting causes as a brand is important. You have a platform and audience that can be used for social good. But even with the best of intentions, supporting a social cause can cost brand equity if consumers sniff out inauthenticity.

However, there are steps you can take to ensure supporting a social cause, particularly when it’s tied to a marketing campaign, does not go awry: 1. Pick your cause(s). Try to stick to one that matters to your employees and customers, but be aware there are a multitude of worthy causes out there. 2. Rally employee engagement and internal alignment. If you don’t have internal buy-in, taking a stance on a social issue is never going to appear authentic, because it isn’t. 3. Understand what you’re trying to accomplish. What creates authenticity is recognizing what you want to achieve as a brand and owning that.

Today, brands can’t stay silent, and we shouldn’t be afraid to try and affect change. Let’s be the change.

Experiences, Not Things

Experiences, Not Things

The Facts

A recent 20-year study conducted by Dr. Thomas Gilovich at Cornell came to the conclusion: Don’t spend your money on things. The trouble with things is that the happiness they provide fades quickly. 1. We get used to new possessions and tire of them quickly; 2. We keep raising the bar, and are always on the lookout for an even better one; and 3. The Joneses are always lurking nearby, and we are thrilled with our possession until a friend buys a better one − and somebody always has a better one. It’s America after all. I once had a client with a private jet and he loved it until the day he parked it next to a Boeing Business Jet in Vegas, and it wasn’t long before he had one of those.

Spiker Insights

One of the enemies of happiness is adaptation. We all buy things to make us happy, and for the most part we succeed − but only for a while. But then we adapt to them. Gilovich found that experiences, as fleeting as they may be, deliver most-lasting happiness over “things.” 1. Experiences become a part of our identity. We are not our possessions, but we are the accumulation of everything we’ve seen and done and places we’ve been; and 2. Comparison matters little. We don’t compare experiences in the same way that we compare things. It’s hard to quantify the relative value of my two-week fly-fishing trip in Chile to yours in New Zealand. And finally, experiences are enjoyable from the very first moments of planning, all the way through to the memories you cherish forever. Things may last longer, but memories that linger are what matter most.

Get Emotional

Get Emotional

The Facts

By now we should all know that people tend to choose brands quickly, using their intuitive brain rather than rationally thinking this through with their deliberative brain. Most purchases in a grocery store for instance are made on instinct and habit. Mom bought Crest, Cheerios and Band Aids for you growing up, and you still use Crest, Cheerios and Band Aids today. Brand choices are driven primarily by emotion, feeling and consistent experiences.

Spiker Insights

People still don’t make brand choices based on logical arguments (as many in our industry still like to believe), rather the more you feel for a brand, the more likely you will be loyal to those brands. I’m a Disney guy. It never even occurs to me to consider Universal Studios. To me, Big Sky is the best ski resort in the country − been to Aspen and all the others, but prefer the runs and the attitude of Big Sky. It takes a strong credible reason for people to change their attitude toward a brand. If the favorable brand keeps building its brand’s emotional experiences with me, I don’t ever see me or anyone else change their brand preferences. So stay the course and build emotion into your marketing and don’t ever screw it up.

Celebrating Unity and Diversity?

Celebrating Unity and Diversity?

The Facts
You no doubt saw that Coca-Cola had one commercial associated with the big football game a week ago. And it only ran before the national anthem. Because, in their words, they aimed to bring people together to celebrate their differences. They felt that running it within the game, America’s divisive culture would take over and ruin the moment for their message of Unity and Diversity. It was Coke’s hope that the viewers would come together as a country to sing our national anthem in unison across this great land.

Spiker Insights
Who do they think they are kidding? A majority of the dissension in this country involves our national anthem with football players not standing or even being present on the field during the playing of the song. Also, a majority of Americans think the big game is an inappropriate place for advertisers to make political statements. We want to watch football and not be reminded of the government shut down or what the Washington rats are up to. And not to mention the hassles of getting all the food and beverage out on the table prior to the kickoff, and the last bathroom break till half time. It’s a busy time right before the playing of our national anthem. I think Coke tried to be too PC and missed out on its opportunity to be heard and noticed.

People Will Pay More

People Will Pay More

The Facts

Here in America, we’ve been ingrained that the best costs more. A Morton’s hamburger certainly costs more than a Wendy’ burger. A BMW costs more than a Chevy. A Montage room costs more than an entire Holiday Inn Express. These are easy comparisons. But price compare between a Montage room and a Four Seasons or a Ritz Carlton room along with the resort experience and it gets more grey than black & white.

Spiker Insights

For decades, there has been research and case histories supporting the theory that Share of Voice equals Share of Market. In other words, you spend more on advertising and grow your brand and it pays off. Delta over Jet Blue, Budweiser over Miller, Coke over Pepsi.

With increased financial investment in brands, it usually comes down to the stronger brand in your prospect’s mind. And that’s all attributed to effective marketing. People will pay more for a well-known brand. You see it at the grocery store every time you shop. Store brand ketchup as compared to Heinz. No comparison.

Brand building matters in this more price competitive world. People still buy from people they like and brands they trust. And an investment in your brand is well worth it.