The secret art of great storytelling in the digital age


“Storytelling as an art in itself has changed, not only in advertising but in movies as well. With the use of interactive YouTube videos, audio books, and other mediums, the format has gone through a huge change,” said Brijesh Jacob, Chief Creative Technologist, DDB Mudra Group.

Jacob explained, “Today storytelling is only restricted to long format videos. Brands want us to become evangelists and I am not sure whether the long format ads are the way to go forward.”

There can be great stories told using the digital platform. Huge scope lies in great story telling, provided you find out, what is that you want to say. Brands can say interesting stories and you do not need to do the long format. 

Jacob highlighted, “The term broadcast irks me because we are using digital as a platform to the only broadcast. The beauty of this platform is that there is no spillage and it allows for narrow casting, which a television won’t do. In this, world, with listicles coming in, your story is getting interesting no doubt. These are like formulas and my worry is, once you hit a formula, most of the stuff starts looking repetitive.”

Jacob finds the Uber app as a fantastic storytelling platform. He feels the brand has used the app as an interface to tell great stories about itself.

Powerful jingles like ‘Washing powder Nirma’ or Airtel’s ‘Har Ek Friend Zaroori Hota Hain’ are still stuck in our minds. The question here is, would they have been as effective, if they were released on the digital platform?

Jacob explains that jingles are like ear worms and the reason, why we still remember these brand jingles is because of the number of times, we have seen it on TV. In this digital age, jingle led-communication has decreased because of the number of times one can play it, fatigue sets in easily and then one decides not to see the video again.

In conclusion, Jacob said, “If you look at digital as only a platform which is cost effective, measurable and just to distribute content, then you are treating it like a newspaper or like another television medium. It is really sad because you are not unleashing the true potential which the medium has. There is actually a lot of room for improvement, we need to push our thinking first, only then we will be able to explore different formats. Therefore, defining stories is important before we get into storytelling.”

Brijesh Jacob, Chief Creative Technologist, DDB Mudra Group shared his thoughts at #SMLive organized by Social Samosa.


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