Digital Storytelling: Are stats your friend or foe?

digital storytelling
SAMMIE

With numbers driving the game and platforms promoting ad-free experiences, here’s how brands can still win the digital storytelling game.

For P.G. Aditiya, pitches being rejected due to bad probable numbers is a weekly tale. Story ideas often have to be adjusted to ensure they result in good numbers. Though this has always been the norm in the creative world of advertising, digital has added a new dimension to it — real-time changes.

“It is tricky to use them well. Sometimes, ideas have to be killed. On others, pitches are strengthened many times over with the help of numbers that suggest they will work,” he said. Aditiya is the Executive Creative Director of Dentsu Webchutney and was a part of a Zee Melt panel discussion on ‘Has digital killed storytelling?’ in Mumbai this Monday.

In sync with Aditiya, the opinion shared by Amarjit Batra, Managing Director, Spotify, regarding digital tools indicates that numbers are indeed a blessing. “You can’t blame the tools. It is important to use them to tell stories effectively and enhance the overall experience for audiences,” he said.

What’s ‘correct advertising’?

How much should the creative persons depend on numbers? Would this dependency result in the rise of ‘correct advertising’ instead of ‘great advertising’ that is based on good storytelling? “The ‘correctness’ of the advertisement is not global, it depends on the matrix that you have specified to the tools,” Anant Rangaswami, Editor, Melt explained.

Everyone can tell a story but not everyone knows how to tell a story was one of the most essential points raised in the discussion.

“Most people who say digital has killed storytelling are those who haven’t been able to adapt,” said Siddharth Banerjee, Director – Global Sales Org, Facebook India.

Who should tell the story?

Though there is a lot of discussion on what makes for good advertising, digital platforms providing ad-less interface adds contradictions to the mix. Is there a way out? “Influencers are an option for the brand to collaborate and reach people,” opined Aditiya.

However, he was countered by Batra who pointed out that depending on influencers for a brand is asking them to tell a story instead of the brand telling its own story. This makes a huge difference for a brand needs to be able to tell their own story without a mediator tweaking it.

Quick takeaway

“A good story for a brand is where the plot won’t hold meaning if the brand is removed,” said Batra, adding that it simply shouldn’t work for any other brand. Adding to this, Banerjee explained two levels of how to make it works: The story should move people emotionally should be at the core.

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The next level is where filters are put in place by brand marketers, he said. These are the ACBD: Attention, Branding, Communication and Distinctiveness.


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