Lionel Curt, CEO of brand strategy and digital story specialist agency MNSTR, took to the stage on 20 June at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2016, to speak on how brands can tell long-lasting stories in today's real-time environment. Joining him on stage was Stéphanie Eyherabide-Pennel, vice-president, global marketing of Playboy Fragances.
Curt opened capturing short attention spans of consumers, and brands looking at a long-term connect with them.
"We are all living in a digital culture now. Creativity has been impacted. But, it's not only impacted by technology and big data and other terms of the like, but by a big shift in culture. It's an instant culture. We've to deal with real-time and people with short attention spans. But, brands are looking at long-term, because they believe that's what leaves a mark in the world," he said.
On what constitutes brand content, he said, "Something other than a TV ad should be brand content. It should be linked to tactical orchestration."
Curt presented six building blocks that could help brands looking at success in this era. He chose to focus on four of them, the first of which was 'message'.
"Our audience has a deficit of attention. We consume 11 hours of content everyday, that's an overload. So, we have to define pillars for our brand territory and put the consumer in front."
He cited examples of social media campaigns the agency had undertaken in France. One was for Pepsi, while the other was for Lacoste.
For Pepsi, the agency and brand chose to have a pillar of humour in its posts. And even when they got negative comments and hate messages, the response was something humourous. The likes for the humorous responses were more than the likes the original hate post received, informed Curt. He added, "We turned haters away with the pillar of humour."
For Lacoste, when the brand rolled out its tennis collection, the pillar used was ‘elegance’.
The second block he spoke about was ‘moment’.
"Content is king, but context is King Kong," said Curt.
He backed this with examples of Oreo's famous Super Bowl tweet and Snickers' 'You're not you, when you're hungry campaign' (Both were not executed by MNSTR).
The third block he believed in was 'mechanic'. He explained, "By building engagement around a constant stream of tiny interactions you develop short-term engagement, and lasting goodwill towards your brand."
An example of the same was Buzzfeed. He noted how people spend only 36 seconds per visit to the site, and how it's still a big success.
Eyherabide-Pennel backed Curt's last point by showing a few cases where Playboy has looked at a constant stream of tiny interactions.
One of them was PlayBoy SkinTouch, a 'touch to play' game on the mobile medium.
Curt explained that against games that had to be downloaded, the brand offered a touch-to-play game.
The final block he spoke about was ‘proximity’. He said, "Long stories emerge with lots and lots of small stories. We have to think about one story with two dimensions (commercials and comments)."