All stories are local. And as it turns out, all advertising campaigns should be too. An insightful piece by Katz Media’s Stacey Shulman, ‘Let Localism Put You into Context’, argues we are technologically connected to services more than ever, but the “digital-ness” of our existence has left us indeed, connected, but yearning for more authentic interaction that centers around our real community and a true human experience.
Shulman adeptly adds that as any brand forms a marketing strategy, they should understand that their customers define who they are and where they live as inextricably linked. And I think Game of Thrones’ Tyrion Lannister would concur. In the season finale, he argued: “There’s nothing more powerful in the world than a good story.” A good story, in his mind, is a relatable one—replete with losses, a journey and some wins- something all of us understand. And so, the juxtaposition of a real advertising executive and a fictional character- makes a lot more sense now, right? You get the point, relatability and granular storytelling at the community level are the future of advertising.
It used to be if you represented a major brand, whether it be a soda or an auto-manufacturer you wanted to tell a relatable tale with that one image and tagline on a billboard or that beautifully thirty-second TV spot. You had to do it with one universal message.
But now, storytelling is more on the ground level, advertising opportunities are more targeted and so the imagery that supports it- has to be too.
How can a brand build a good story?
Brands and advertisers could take their cues from innovators in newsgathering.
Case in point, one of our best and innovative partners News Channel Nebraska, is proving that telling real stories on the very local level matters too- thanks largely to their own ingenuity and help from Stringr—which allows them to source custom video—through their coverage area. They are able to tell stories that matter most to 1.8 million people who live in that state, and at a cost structure that enables them to build a good business. I can safely assess that because of News Channel Nebraska, there’s no news desert there, amidst a peer set in media that struggles with their legacy cost structure.
Harnessing the power of innovative companies like Storyful, Jukin, NewsCred, and Stringr should be a part of how all agencies gather the visual content. All of these firms help source, vet and license content that’s contributed by professionals, hobbyists and novices and make it available for their partners to use—to help tell their own respective stories.
Let’s face it, we like to feel recognized, which conversely translates to—we like things that mirror our own experience. And that doesn’t mean it has to be in an echo-chamber, ‘you only see what you like’ sense. Let’s be more optimistic.
Seeing someone “Share a Coke” is great. Seeing them do it on a park bench, street corner, landmark that you associate with home—makes you feel at ease, more aligned with a brand. So why not leverage a service or resource that allows you to show how all people are doing this exactly – around the world, instead of betting all of your bucks on one campaign, one face, one place. And while you’re at it, remember it’s all about video.
National campaigns and banner ads are going by the wayside, while the programmatic (i.e. diversified) video is abundant and growing. The combination of programmatic delivery mechanisms and locally sourced content means local content isn’t just warm and fuzzy – it’s also Where The Party At.