The Art and Science of Storytelling

Last week I attended ‘The art and science of storytelling’, hosted by The Drum and Shutterstock. The event brought together creative visionaries for an afternoon of focussed discussion on the future of visual storytelling and brand communication.

Inspired by a throng of talent and tales, it was reaffirming to hear the panels view on how storytelling has evolved. Consumers have shifted in terms of how they want to receive stories - we have moved on from Storytelling to Story Making.

What does this mean? Well, people no longer want to sit back and be told stories passively; they want to lean in and take part!

Content needs to be original and inspiring, and the relationship brands have with their audience should encourage them to help create and drive the narrative forward.

Hannah St Paul, from Snapchat, built on this theme by highlighting how ‘Generation Alpha’ (a savvy generation of 5/16 year-olds) are engaging with a new AR initiative ‘Snapchat Lenses’. Lens Studio enables Artists, Students, Developers and Animators to unleash their creativity and share it with the millions of Snapchat users every day. Her point? That industry and culture as a whole are at the frontier of something genuinely new. Consumers are creating and contributing to the narrative rather than being told or dictated too!

As a creative agency, storytelling runs in our veins, and this event reaffirmed for me that we are steering our ship in the right direction.

Our clients have complex stories to tell, but we know that to create real cut-through, content needs to be more relevant, personalised and interactive than ever before.

The second session that sent me away itching to write was observing the conversation with Jan Gooding and The Drums Sonoo Singh.

‘Coming out as you’ provided a healthy dose of inspiration and some real food for thought. Their candid conversation about how negative stereotypes can often dictate the narrative, left me in no doubt that we need to find our voices to deliver more sincere, thoughtful and purposeful conversations, as well as content.

I personally feel like we are making good progress. However, it saddened me to read that the small number of female CEO’s in the FTSE 100 has dropped to just five - as Alison Cooper steps down from Imperial. Come on corporations, where is your drive for inclusion?

I’m fortunate that Soak is a such a diverse and inclusive agency. Working as part of a team that develops and evolves on a tide of group activity, I’m now, more than ever inclined to think - how can I do more?