This is a post by Fergus Stoddart

We know we should be moving to storytelling.

Long gone are the days of overselling, intrusive and uninspiring marketing. Meaningful conversations and authentic messages create memorable brands. Content that flows two ways, based on interaction and listening, creates a deep and emotional connection between the brand and the customer. 

So you know what storytelling is and you are bought into the role of content along side advertising, but have you heard of hypertelling?

This buzzword is created by Michael Yapp, founder and Chief Creative Officer of Google’s think-tank for brands and agencies, The Zoo. According to Yapp, Hypertelling is characterised by non-linear, immersive experiences where users can create and determine their story. With brands historically used to controlling the minutest details of their messages, hypertelling seats the audience in front of the driving wheel. Yapp said that creatives are no longer talking to the audience because the power of storytelling has shifted to the user and stories that are posted online are now becoming “malleable”.

Last year, an amatuer photographer captured this image of a woodpecker carrying a weasel. The photo instantly became a meme called “Weasel Pecker” and encouraged a plethora of edits which had nothing to do with the intent of the image.

The emerging nature of the such culture means that “communication has to be always on. Not your advertisement” says Yapp. At Edge, we know that personalisation is becoming more crucial in a digital world where the resource of attention is becoming scarcer. Linking your brand’s content and message to a true emotional experience, directed by the user through hypertelling, will become the next big feat for agencies and brands.

What does this mean for you and how can you get there?

Yapp says that it’s time to think like gaming writers. He’s no longer looking for regular copywriters, but rather, those who can create content which transform into hyper-telling. It’s time to stop thinking like advertisers and more like inventors. How will you be able to construct your brand message in a way where the audience can play with it and make it their own? This is where the future of advertising is heading towards- a playground of messages where the advertiser introduces stories for the audience to collaborate and build upon.  “Now it’s no longer about just telling a story. Now it’s about doing it and experiencing it, and basically, creating it,” Yapp says.

The driving force behind this is rapid, emerging development in technology, which will be at the forefront for creating high-quality and meaningful advertising for brands. Specifically, the mediums of virtual reality and artificial intelligence will enable more user-generated and experiential forms of content. Brands who invest in understanding the potential and utilising the experiential storytelling capability of this emerging technology, will be poised as leaders in the industry. Yapp says that 360 video will be the entry medium for all of this and he recognises that when the story and the medium begins to fuse, edifying the user will become achievable. When that happens, advertisers will be able to deliver more than a story and communicate with clients in a different way.

As a content agency, we understand that the art of storytelling is clearly evolving, so now is the time to leverage from the technological advances and make meaningful connections with customers by passing on the role of the writer to the users.