Gokul Krishnamurthy
Jun 17, 2014

Cannes Lions 2014: ‘Storytelling is always the future’: Chuck Porter

The Crispin Porter + Bogusky co-founder and chairman presented what has thus far been the most inspiring session for creatives

Cannes Lions 2014: ‘Storytelling is always the future’: Chuck Porter
“If you’re the first one to use a tool (that is innovative), it will get talked about. But there’s only one ‘first’. The first movie was about a horse ride. The second time, people started asking, ‘Where’s the horse going?’” quipped Chuck Porter, co-founder and chairman, Crispin Porter + Bogusky (CPB), in the concluding talk on the second day of the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2014.
Beginning his talk by saying ‘Talking about about creativity is bull shit’, Porter ensured that there was no dearth of examples in his talk. There was no dearth of digs either, on several fronts. Fronting - and backing - these, were films created for his agency’s client, Irish bookmaker Paddy Power.

Laced through the presentation was his faith in creativity and storytelling, in an era of incessant conversations about social and digital media.
Porter said, “Fifteen years ago, we heard creatives saying, ‘Social media is here and my kids will starve’. Then we heard them say, ‘Mobile is here and my kids will starve’. Every new technology is just another new way to do brilliant work. It all depends on how you use it.”

Another campaign porter presented was for the same client, this time from Italy. It ran only for a day, and one realises why from the video below. An English version made up online.

Stating that all revolutions are surrounded by rhetoric, he quoted Michael Eisner, former chairman and CEO of Disney (who had said): ‘In any revolution, a great story is the killer app’. Adding to it, porter said, “Storytelling is always the future.”
On the subject of social media, the ad veteran noted that it was inherently different from digital media, and had to be treated so. On the subject of brands pushing themselves through social media, he had an analogy to share. 
“If you keep sending the salesman repeatedly to a friend’s door, he’s soon going to be looking out for another friend,” he said, and underlined the fact that customers needed to be rewarded.
The speaker noted that ‘unexpectedness’ was among things that worked on social media, enabling a campaign to go viral.  He noted, “This is why agencies exist. Everyone’s got big data, analytics, and the like. The tools that aren’t available to everyone is what will engage customers. The question is how well you can get a customer aligned.”
Quoting from a McCann study, he noted, “Sixty six per cent of people said they want to be inspired. I think that’s great news for storytellers.”
Asked about the one thing he’d like to change about the industry, he surmised, “We need to worship creatives more than we do now.”
Follow Campaign's global live coverage from the Cannes Festival at cannes.campaignlive.co.uk


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