By Charlotte Williams, VP content, Cannes Lions
Over the past few weeks, my team and I have been taking stock of the things that remain most enduring and fundamental to creativity. What’s clear, even in the current humanitarian crisis, is that creative, ingenious and affirmative stories can make a huge difference to people’s lives.
We all know that, when done well, storytelling can help us to humanise brands in a way that can be genuinely helpful. Of course, the challenge for creatives and marketers is now to tell stories at scale, in a world that looks remarkably different than it did a couple of months ago. In a timely report, we asked expert storytellers how we can tell culturally relevant stories that resonate today.
In this report, you can expect examples of Lion-winning work that used powerful narratives to captivate across channels – from adam&eveDDB’s work with John Lewis and Elton John on ‘The Boy and the Piano’ to The New York Times’ ‘The Truth is Worth it’.
You’ll benefit from a marketer’s perspective from branded content frontrunner Chipotle on adapting a story that came from one of their restaurant employees for TikTok and you’ll hear from brand storytellers on the ingredients that make for a great story. Droga5 explores memorability as currency and Grand-prix winning fashion brand Virtue looks at stories that boil down to a single symbol.
Global trend forecasters WGSN bring us key strategies for addressing content ‘choice paralysis’: creating buzz by choosing unexpected collaborators, adapting content for new social platforms and scaling stories by making your way into new spaces.
It will probably come as no surprise to you that storytelling at scale has been identified as a priority amongst the creative community. Even in our current humanitarian crisis, we have seen how ingenius and affirmative stories can make a huge difference to people’s lives. The age-old craft of storytelling has always been the bedrock of our industry (and, indeed, the Festival) and will continue to be so for as long as the world spins.
There is even evidence to suggest that it is having a creative renaissance. Is it now the time to declare again that annoying and interruptive ads have had their day – and remind ourselves that the best work we see at Cannes Lions is always emotive, persuasive and memorable?
The platforms and channels may be ever-expanding but the creative magic behind great storytelling will never change. You only have to look at the Warc Creative 100 rankings to see just how effective a creative strategy storytelling is.