The traditional view of advertising is, as have been written on this blog before :o), pouring communication down pipe shaped channels to consumers who are indifferent.
(Lending an analogy from Charles Leadbeater).
Storytelling has grown to become THE main source of communication between the brand and the participant.
Even in digital communication, with all its arenas (as opposed to channels), we historically have kept ourselves, and our clients, busy with building non-interactable stories.
It came to a point where we viewed these magnificent plazas of consumer interaction as just vehicles, trucks and buses, where we could roll out our stories and pour them onto customers.
These concepts are built on a truth that branding / marketing / advertising not necessarily has to be all about storytelling. It’s about experiences, creating additional value, becoming relevant and meaningful.
Brands are essentially represented in the consumer as an idea (M. Neumeier calls it the Gut Feeling). Which is a notion of value and meaning, created when the participant reflects on the brand and the use of its products.
In other words, a brand is NOT an idea based on ONE interaction – It is NOT the storyline in ONE ad.
Every interaction has it’s purpose, and needs to convey the brand in it’s way, in order to create the unified notion of the brand. So, when Barclays Bank in the UK launches a widget, which helps the participants stay updated on the latest financial news. Barclays is investing in the brand idea, with brand content. It is not creating artificial anticipation or interrupting you with a story. It is merely serving the participant some well-deserved value – because we know what’s important to you, and we can participate.
Now the problem is this… When Barclays might be (rumor) evaluating putting pre-roll advertising inside the widget ??? They are not only not getting it. They are destroying the full beauty of brand totality and brand value.
WHY would you start treating this branded utility as just another vehicle for unwanted branded storytelling? When you finally got what it was all about… value-adding-marketing.