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Guest Column: Storytellers are still alive in the digital age - KV Sridhar

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Guest Column: Storytellers are still alive in the digital age - KV Sridhar

Last year we saw a change, which traditional creative communities were eagerly waiting to see: To tell powerful stories to the less-attentive young multi-screen tribes.

We have seen the so-called digital novice “traditional creatives” embracing the new form of storytelling and more importantly, clients trusting and partnering them to create content and back it by some big bucks is quite heartening. Most of the emotional content created last year for digital multi-screens has been very successful, hence act of buying and try to make a forcible marriage between digital and tradition agencies and its creatives paying off handsomely.

Here are some of the most successful digital content and campaigns of 2013:

Lifebuoy ‘Gundappa - Help a child reach 5’: It is the sheer magic of story telling which makes you shed a tear or two before you jump on to the Facebook page to sign-up. Two million views and more than 350,000 shares and most importantly, building awareness of killer diseases such as diarrhoea and pneumonia. Lowe and Unilever showed the way.

Google Reunion: Another masterpiece from Ogilvy. Though Google is known for their innovative digital content, the courageous creatives went with the most traditional form of storytelling and integrated every little detail of search information. This content proves the point that people irrespective of screens are looking for engaging stories. Reunion is arguably the most talked about and shared content of 2013.

Brands have also cracked how to use YouTube and social media, for instance, Thums Up used the huge following of its brand and its ambassador Salman Khan to premier the brand commercial for Facebook fans first before hitting the television; Tanishq raked up a huge debate on skin colour and remarriage on social media with its traditional television content.

Must applaud the clients taking the lead and pushing the agencies to create better online content – L’Oreal’s ‘Stay Rooted’, Old Spice’s ‘Mantastic’, Tata Capital’s ‘Do Right Stories’, 5-Star’s ‘Ramesh & Suresh’, Oreo’s ‘Dunkathon’ are all in the right direction. Today, clients are not just viewing digital as data, search, analytics or e-commerce; they are trying very hard to build a connect with younger audiences with emotional digital content.

With a sigh of relief I can announce the extended stay of storyteller for the next decade at the least.

The author is Chief Creative Officer, Leo Burnett India and Sub-Continent.

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