Let’s join the dots from storytelling to sustainability…


Paul Stanway

Creative director, XYZ

In 2020, we’ve all got to get better at proving how and why our events have been successful. The integration of technology into the everyday fabric of our lives means there are more measurement touchpoints than ever. As with all things, the magic lies in how you join these dots together to tell a meaningful story. There has been some solid foundational work from the Institute of Promotional Marketing; now, it’s up to us to take this on to the next level as a sector.

And, in the same way that agencies no longer have a “digital” department, instead integrating digital, social and mobile into their daily work, sustainability needs to move from being a story to a behaviour. Consumers, quite rightly, are going to expect sustainability to be standard, ethical behaviour, rather than brands using the issue as participation-bait. Agencies need to play their part in walking the walk and genuinely integrating always-on sustainable practices into their work, rather than offering it as an optional extra.

Reductive audience demographics are as outdated as fax machines (I’m showing my age here), brands and agencies need to embrace the fact that audiences can be different people at different times, and tailor their actions accordingly. Hopefully, 2020 will see an end to the lazy “millennial” tag once and for all.

This may be wishful thinking, but I think we’re seeing, increasingly, experiential at the heart of campaigns, rather than being the delivery mechanism for a generic message. Audiences are experts at decoding brand messages and can smell inauthentic work a mile off. Using the unique qualities of experiential to craft and deliver creative is a far better use of resources than trying to shoehorn in something designed for another medium. Brands that trust experiential agencies as experts in their field will see stronger, more effective and impactful work as a result.

Online purchasing isn’t going away, so retail brands need to figure out how to deal with this significant shift in consumer behaviour. That’s where experiential can help. Physical retail spaces should be tasked with providing the reason for purchase – creating context, product storytelling and emotional engagement, then driving purchase to take place at the customer’s convenience. The days of stores being purely a transactional space are coming to an end, and brands need to adapt or face the consequences.

Read the full article on Campaign here