Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Telling versus Storytelling

The above is from something said by David Lubars, chairman and chief creative officer of Omnicom’s BBDO North America.

The actual Lubars quote is “Humans prefer storytelling to just telling.”

Is he right? Of course he is.

Think about it. Telling someone to do something, or telling them about a product, is very different than telling someone a story.

A story motivates them to lean in. To listen. To intrique.

Just telling someone something comes with no such motivation.

Storytelling used to be what separated great commercials from run-of-the-mill commercials. But as the viewing audience started to fragment, the powers that be thought shorter was better.

We only have a limited time with them, so we better say it quick, was the prevailing thought.

Delusional thinking.

As the messages got shorter, advertising became all telling and no storytelling. The result?

People lost interest even faster. Comnmercials became intrusions. Something to avoid.

That may be changing.

The recent report out of Ad Age is that the upcoming Super Bowl will be enhanced with multiple spots longer than thirty seconds.

In other words, stories.

Let’s hope so.

Because while it’s true that the audience has fragmented on the digital platform, it doesn’t mean we need to speak faster to gain their interest.

Gaining interest isn't about speed. It's about content.

In other words, storytelling versus telling.

End of story.

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