From Storytelling To ‘StoryTeching’: New Technology To Enable Immersive Storytelling

From Storytelling To ‘StoryTeching’: New Technology To Enable Immersive Storytelling
SHARE
THIS



Ogilvy PR Australia’s strategy and planning manager Laura Stoll (pictured below) has just arrived home from SXSW. In this guest column for B&T, Stoll examines the new technologies on show at the famed festival and what that it means for advertising’s storytellers…

When I heard I was going to SXSW in Austin Texas my mind pictured a conference centered around technology, innovation, music and film; hearing from some of the world’s most influential minds at the forefront of innovation and technology, watching world premieres of big-name and small-indie movies, and dancing to the tunes of festival headliners and up-and-coming artists.

Screen Shot 2018-03-20 at 7.38.57 am

After completing my first SXSW, it’s clear it’s is so much more than that. It’s about the people you meet, the connections you make and the experiences you have.

The festival’s core theme this year – the need to ‘live stories’, not just tell them, will stick with me.

Storytelling is the ultimate crowd-pleaser. Everyone wants to be engaged, loves a distraction and enjoys getting pulled into a different world. To tell a story is to share insight into a new world, and to experience a good story is magical.

SXSW did that in spades.

Let’s take the recreation of HBO’s hit TV show Westworld as an example. From the characters to the narratives and the set design, the show’s town of Sweetwater came to life, rightly awarding it to be the must-see activation at the festival. In Westworld a futuristic park is looked after by robotic ‘hosts,’ allowing its visitors to live out their fantasies through artificial consciousness. This interactive experience Live Without Limits Weekend simulated this idea through and through, apart from the ‘hosts’, which were played by real people. However, I feel we’re not far off from the idea of an interactive park full of robotic hosts!

SXSW is known for its lavish and over-the-top brand activations, but this has been dubbed as a significant step up from past experiences. Overall, it was a completely immersive experience, with amazing dedication to craftsmanship and character – no detail was too small. This experience clearly took time and money to create, of which we may not always have the luxury to do or have. With the age of immersive storytelling well and truly upon us, what can communicators do to action this today, tomorrow and into the future?

New technology has opened up exciting avenues for immersive storytelling.

Visionary storytellers like Nonny de la Peña, among others, shed light on the fascinating developments made in this space. Widely known as the ‘Godmother of VR’, Nonny made a strong case for embracing a new generation of storytelling tools for journalism and documentary experiences. Her short 5-minute film ‘Kiya’, is a piece of re-enactment-based VR journalism that brings to life the story of intimate partner violence. It evokes strong emotions, gives an exclusive look into the lives of people in a unique way with a powerful call to action. While Kiya is a US-born creation, it could be used as an education piece worldwide to help raise awareness of the problem and put a stop to the trend of domestic violence.

Another VR example from Nonny and her team at Emblematic group is Greenland Melting. This used photometric capture to create a trip to Greenland, combining thousands of photos for an immersive icy landscape. The main message of the film – that glaciers largely melt from below the water, not above it – is achieved via a clever manoeuvre: instead of forcing viewers to be submerged, it drops you right above the water. Your instincts for exploration take over, and you get down on one knee in order to look below the surface. It’s the audience’s own choice to learn the cause of the ice melt on Earth, which psychologically ties you to the material. It’s a subtle cue to your brain that even though climate change is almost too big to contemplate, this is likely the greatest existential threat facing humanity.

Placing you inside the story, not just to watch it but to feel it, has important value on very sensitive topics. A Nielsen study found VR to be a powerful tool for creating emotionally engaging brand experiences. The research used neuroscience technology to compare user response to the same content presented in three distinct mediums: VR, 360-degree video on a flat surface and 2D. VR received a 17 per cent higher emotional reaction than flat 360-degree video, and a 27 per cent higher reaction than 2D.VR content was also engaged for 34 per cent longer than 2D, and 16 per cent longer than 360-degree video.

So, what lessons will I bring home? In short, storytellers like journalists and communicators need to lock arms with technologists and people who understand brain data. Then find a story that can be enhanced using AR or VR, but this technology doesn’t have to be a huge investment – it can start with an Insta Nano 360 device to capture the footage coupled with an image stitching software to stich up the images.

The next step would be to develop and launch the story on an appropriate medium; be it an existing app (lowers the barrier to entry) or at a relevant showcase such as a brand activation or a festival. This is likely going to be a test and learn project, for now, and measurement is key. This example from USA Today transports audiences to the USS Eisenhower aircraft carrier during the biggest combat training exercises in recent Navy history. The team at USA Today looked at metrics like engagement time and retention, specifically at how far the audience went into the story. They’ve applied learnings from this project, launched at the start of last year, to their more recent project called The Wall: Unknown Stories, Unintended Consequences.

The Wall, which examines President Trump’s signature campaign promise to build a wall along the border with Mexico, is a multi-media experience encompassing virtual reality, bots, aerial and 360-degree video, documentaries, photos, podcasts, LIDAR data, exclusive reporting and an upcoming long-form film. It brings the stories of the region to life, combining the effort of more than 30 reporters, photographers and videographers to provide a comprehensive understanding of the proposed wall, those who will be affected by it, and all of the issues surrounding it.

At the end of the day, new technology to enable immersive storytelling is here so we need to start exploring the various ways that we can incorporate this into our businesses. Just remember, it all starts with a strong narrative, which is essential to the success of any story.

Latest News

Women In Media Profile: Danni Wright
  • Media

Women In Media Profile: Danni Wright

We'd be headlining Danni Wright's Women in Media profile the "Wright stuff" if it wasn't utterly predictable and naff.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Industry Generates A Record $10.5m For Social Impact
  • Media

Industry Generates A Record $10.5m For Social Impact

UnLtd, the media, marketing and creative industry’s social purpose organisation has announced a total industry contribution of $10.5m to social impact in FY18. The total value of funds, services, inventory and time donated by the media, marketing and creative industry increased by 21per cent compared to the previous financial year due to a growth in […]

Posterscope Promotes Two
  • Media

Posterscope Promotes Two

Posterscope, Dentsu Aegis Network’s specialist out-of-home agency, has promoted Ryan Hedditch to the newly created position of national head of strategy and Samantha Summers to Sydney Group Business Director. In his new role, Hedditch is charged with driving the continual improvement and transformation of the Posterscope offering to clients and partners. Summers’ promotion will see her lead […]

Outbrain Accelerates Growth With APAC Promotions
  • Media

Outbrain Accelerates Growth With APAC Promotions

Native discovery platformOutbrain has announced several movements in its regional leadership team, with plans to make more new hires. This comes on the heels of two senior appointments it made in February, after closing a record year in the region with expansion into new markets. Yoav Tourel has been promoted to head of sales for […]

Clems Syd & Extra GUM Unveil YouTube Digital Stage
  • Media

Clems Syd & Extra GUM Unveil YouTube Digital Stage

YouTube EXTRA Gum has launched EXTRA Support Acts, a program created to support Australia’s up and coming musicians by transforming pre-roll ads on YouTube into a digital support stage. It has been created in partnership with Clemenger BBDO Sydney as creative lead, Universal Music Australia and BRING for talent and music strategy and content, MediaCom and YouTube. The […]

OMD Australia Tops 2018 RECMA Rankings
  • Media

OMD Australia Tops 2018 RECMA Rankings

OMD Australia has taken the top spot for Australia’s Number 1 media agency in size, according to RECMA’s 2018 ‘Overall Activity Volume Rankings’ report released last week. Additionally, the company was named first in profile classification with a dominant profile for the 3rd consecutive year, along with vitality ranking and structure ranking. Furthermore, OMD Australia was also named […]

Nine Appoints Editor For 9Honey
  • Media

Nine Appoints Editor For 9Honey

B&T's editor coincidentally spilled honey on his shirt while typing this. And by typing, we mean copy and pasting.

Y&R Sydney Scores Best&Less   
  • Advertising
  • Media

Y&R Sydney Scores Best&Less  

Y&R wins Best&Less amid rumours the clothing shop its changing name to 'Somewhat OK&Reasonably cheap'.

Women In Media Profile: Judy Sahay
  • Media

Women In Media Profile: Judy Sahay

B&T's Women in Media profiles are like a wave washing over you. Even more so if an actual wave washes over you.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
How B2B Companies Can Use Their Customer Data More Effectively (And Why They Need To)
  • Marketing
  • Opinion

How B2B Companies Can Use Their Customer Data More Effectively (And Why They Need To)

In this opinion piece, SalesPreso co-founder and CMO Joel Thomson (pictured below) explains how B2B companies can use their data more effectively and deliver a personalised customer experience that matches their B2C counterparts. From the Cambridge Analytica scandal to the EU’s recent GDPR legislation, this year has prompted individuals all over the world to consider […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
M&C Saatchi Launches THIS Film Studio
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Media

M&C Saatchi Launches THIS Film Studio

Not one to rest on its laurels, M&C Saatchi unveils new production studio it hasn't called 'Not One To Rest On Laurels'.

Creative Agency Launches Project Management Tool ‘Hassl’
  • Advertising
  • Technology

Creative Agency Launches Project Management Tool ‘Hassl’

Yesterday at TedX Melbourne the team behind award-winning, Melbourne-based agency Your Creative launched their new tech venture Hassl, the project management platform taking on Trello and the likes. With the belief there was a better design solution to project management, the platform has been developed over the last two years in collaboration with their clients. […]

ABC Axes Tom Ballard’s Tonightly
  • Media

ABC Axes Tom Ballard’s Tonightly

It's one of the ABC's edgier, controversial shows, but Tom Ballard's proven too edgy and controversial for ABC chiefs.

Taboola Strengthens APAC Programmatic Offering With New Partnership
  • Advertising
  • Media

Taboola Strengthens APAC Programmatic Offering With New Partnership

Global discovery platform Taboola has announced a strategic partnership with Wider Planet, Korea’s largest demand-side and data management platform. The partnership builds on Taboola’s programmatic efforts in Asia-Pacific, and will bring together Korea’s largest demand platform for agencies and brands to provide access to Taboola’s global audience through premium publisher placements. The partnership means advertisers […]

The Haus Picks Up Two New Clients
  • Marketing

The Haus Picks Up Two New Clients

The Haus announces two new client wins. Admittedly, not as good as winning three, but far better than losing four.