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In an industry that changes as quickly as the weather in Joburg, marketers have seen a vast change in the depiction of brands and a fascinating shift in the consumer experience.
In an industry that changes as quickly as the weather in Joburg, marketers have seen a vast change in the depiction of brands and a fascinating shift in the consumer experience.

FoST - An immersive storytelling experience, but is South Africa ready for the learnings?


Issued by JNPR - Dec 7th 2018, 10:05

In an industry that changes as quickly as the weather in Joburg, marketers have seen a vast change in the depiction of brands and a fascinating shift in the consumer experience.  

Following an inspiring week in New York - as the only South Africans to be invited to the highly regarded Future of Storytelling conference (FoST) - BrandTruth’s Wayne Flemming and Zubeida Goolam, chronicle how a sensory overload isn’t necessarily a bad thing and can be rather enthralling.

FoST offered a unique look into the innovative developments transforming the marketing landscape, and the technology that is revolutionising the ways in which stories are told.
Accomplished actor Neil Patrick Harris, who served as one of the mentors at FoST, presented a phenomenal overview of immersive theatre. This is where people are invited to not only witness but to physically participate and experience a theatre production by becoming part of the story. Through this immersive interaction, the person is taken on a completely new and different experience - and can often even feel like a voyeur.

How does this translate into the world of brand storytelling? It's simple. Experience over expectation.

All brands measure the success of their storytelling by assessing brand loyalty and also the bottom line value delivered. In the past, this was much easier to achieve. Today, the channels for content consumption have become incredibly vast, making the return on investment more challenging to track or achieve.

Immersive brand storytelling has become a core component within the marketing landscape - especially in the world where digital and live experience overlap to create a new all-encompassing narrative.

It challenges brands to provide a deeper feeling, a more authentic connection, and sometimes even a physical experience. It is in this type of experience that a transformation happens and a deepened connection with the brand takes place.

Over the years, sensory brand experiences have been elevated to achieve more than only foot traffic. Digital technology has allowed us to transcend the boundaries between reality and virtual reality. There are increasing ways and means with which to engage consumers and deepen the relationship with them.

An excellent example of such advertising is a recent campaign run by Last Wine Company. They made two specific limited edition wines based on the television series ‘The Walking Dead’. They designed special labels for these themed wine bottles, bringing the experience to life using augmented reality (AR) technology. The user then downloads the AR app and points the camera at the bottle, making the characters on the label suddenly come alive on the screen. One bottle’s character appears to break through the wine bottle, while the other bottle shows a sheriff fighting zombies. When the camera is pointed at both bottles at the same time, the characters appear to fight each other.

This year, FoST again showcased some of the best advancements in immersive storytelling technologies. From superior, interactive virtual reality experiences to responsive films with a narrative that unfolds based on your emotion - the possibilities for brands are endless. There are even apps that can capture interactive, 3D-versions of oneself to have conversations with future generations that don’t yet exist.

Storytelling and the way in which we engage with audiences, has taken advertising to an exciting new place that we do not want to come back from.


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