Warc Blog

Audience interaction boosts brands

31 May 2013
LONDON: The blurring of the distinction between technology and communications offers new opportunities for marketers,  an award-winning film director has suggested.

James Cameron told the Idea Exchange event organised by SapientNitro, a digital agency, that disruptive technologies, including the motion capture techniques he used in his 2009 film Avatar, allowed producers to create "richer experiences" with greater interactivity.

Speaking to Marketing Week, Cameron said: "The more we can enlarge the false reality that we create and give fans more access to it [through technology] the richer the stories are."

Cameron also said he saw potential in giving audiences a voice in telling the story.

"I have thought it might be fun to do multiple versions of a movie that you could go and see a number of times and it would be different," he added. "I think empowering audiences to actually generate those experiences is exciting."

Cameron suggested that the applications of this go far beyond the entertainment industry, with opportunities for all content producers to "redefine the medium of storytelling" through embracing the latest developments in mobile apps, Google Glass, connected televisions and new social networks.

These, he claimed, have altered the way recipients view narrative, but also mean that brands must be creative in exploring the opportunities and seeing what works.

Speaking at the same conference, Steven Levitt, author of "Freakonomics", told Marketing Magazine that the priority for marketers should be authenticity rather than being eye-catching.

He suggested that this would be easier if larger companies produced their advertising in-house, as it would mean that the creatives knew the brand well.

"You would think that no one better than you would know about your product. Why don't Procter & Gamble, with the scale they are at, have their own advertising agency in-house?" he asked.

Citing Apple, the US electronics firm, as a company that made products which generated discussion because of their intrinsic value, Levitt criticised brands that put out marketing messages even when they had nothing to say.

He added that brands put too much emphasis on focus groups, which made marketing backward looking and stifled innovation.

Data sourced from Marketing Week, Marketing Magazine; additional material by Warc staff, 31 May 2013

 
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