Commentary

Review: "Storyscaping: Stop Creating Ads, Start Creating Worlds"


Creating brand magic is no longer an elusive alchemy.
 
Two top SapientNitro executives, Gaston Legorburu, Worldwide Chief Creative Officer and Darren McColl, Global Chief Brand Strategy Officer, think they’ve cracked the code.
 
Their recent book, “Storyscaping: Stop Creating Ads, Start Creating Worlds,” details how marketers are moving from storytelling to storyscaping. In short, they’ve gone from using pictures and words to crafting engaging experiences that encourage consumers to becoming part of the brand story.
 
Citing clever campaigns to prove the success of storyscaping, the authors offer a 21st-century approach to advertising and marketing they believe will solidify that crucial emotional link between brands and buyers.
 
In creative terms, think of Storyscaping like a 3D film. It provides enhanced depth perception and a greater immersive experience. Storyscaping steps out of the two-dimensional world by creating the opportunity for authentic interactions between a brand and a consumer.
 
Legorburu and McColl recognize that building stories around brands is becoming obsolete. Getting a message through clutter? Old school. Storyscaping provides key strategies to get consumers to buy — and  care — about a brand. They lay out a blueprint: Develop an organizing idea, define a brand’s purpose and learn to target  a core audience. That way, a company can secure an immersive storyscape experience to harness consumer loyalty on and offline.
 
To demonstrate the power of storyscaping, the duo point to the X Games, ESPN’s rapidly expanding online action sports network. X Game’s Storyscaping was built around the Organizing Idea, which boiled down to two words: “activate awesome.” That was a result of gaining insight into Brand Purpose (“bring new and go huge”); product offer (expanding content, new events and activities); and customer behavior (“avid” fans and “two-way players”).
 
As ESPN mapped out the engagement landscape around the X Game, it ensured events were more connected to the fans cross-platform. The viewing experience itself connected two separate audiences — fans present at the event with those watching from at home through The HypeMeter, a real-time interactive engine.
 
Trick Track, a second screen feature, provided real-time statistics and results – which gave fans a chance to engage anywhere. “Activating awesome” has become the core of new immersive world, bringing together fans at home and at a live event – across social content, broadcast and action — in one space. The app has held first place in the iTunes for 12 days, and over the year, digital engagement measures skyrocketed 100% or more.
 
Another brilliant example of storyscaping is Vail Resort, the ski resort collection. The Organizing Idea (“Unleash the Mountain”) was to build a world originating on the slopes, and kept alive long after guests left the resort via smartphones. Pro photographers captured high-quality images (EpicMix), which were automatically uploaded to guest accounts for free via the embedded chip in their lift passes. EpicMix Racing allowed guests to compete against their friends or Olympic Medalists while viewing and sharing their accomplishments on any device or platform.
 
As a result, Storyscaping has helped Vail Resort gain 500,000 members, and 180 million social post impressions.
 
“Storyscape,” a smart, helpful guide for marketers, insists it’s no longer just about ads and storytelling or 360-degree marketing. It is about applying Systems Thinking to creating a brand’s Story System, where each individual narrative is connected by a “comma” and becomes part of cohesive and engaging journey for the consumers.
 
Who wants to argue with success?

Storyscaping: Stop Creating Ads, Start Creating Worlds; Wiley; 256 pages

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1 comment about "Review: "Storyscaping: Stop Creating Ads, Start Creating Worlds"".
  1. John Grono from GAP Research , July 21, 2014 at 10:30 a.m.
    I note with interest the success of Vail. Any data on patronage?