Hidden in the shadows of the more captivating product advertisements, lie important and riveting stories that subtly draw the consumer in. For the younger generations in today’s tech-driven era, the importance of human interaction is not being overlooked; rather, it is obscured. The fact that remains overlooked in advertising, and the reason why many ads are strongly disliked, is that there is no true relatability or possibility for human connection.
Advertisements that prioritize the story of the brand, rather than the bland usability of the product, often gain significant traction. As David Shing, AOL’s self-proclaimed “digital prophet,” explains, this generation of consumers requires intimate human connection. As he put it at this year’s renowned Northside Innovation Festival, “principles matter more than pride.” In fact, building trust between the corporate entity and the consumer is perhaps the most important bonding moment in this tech-driven economy.
When we take a step back and consider the times of the year in which advertisements are most notable and exciting, most immediately turn to the Super Bowl. Iconic ads, such as the heartwarming Budweiser spot in which a beautiful story unfolds between a puppy and majestic Clydesdale horses, to Betty White performing as a hungry and cranky football player in a hilarious Snickers spot, each display shares a common success indicator: all focus more on the story, than the product or service.
Now, companies are beginning to realize that without a captivating plot line, advertisements are too boring to pay attention to. Per a recent Huffington Post article, consumers tend to hold on to good stories.
When a great story unfolds, the brain either reacts to the beauty of learning something new through a creative lens or the mind inherently dips back in to its recesses to access those memories that the ad reminds the viewer of. The results are the intimate and vulnerable connections that the brain experiences, that draw the consumer closer to what the company is advertising. The reality is that many brands focus too much on the tangibility of the product or service, when the preliminary marketing focus should instead remain on the story that can be told around it.
Why are well-developed, potentially-lengthy stories so appealing to the younger generation of consumers? The answer is simple: the importance of authenticity.
As this 2016 Forbes article wraps up so poignantly, millennial thinkers share a common mistrust in most facets of life. A shared skepticism therefore eradicates any value of an advertisement that isn’t intellectually or emotionally stimulating. When a product or service becomes part of something more beautiful than its lesser-valued tangible aspects, the young consumer is immediately drawn in.
In an era where mass consumerism drives the global economy, businesses who don’t place enough focus on to the creative portion of their marketing face significant challenges. However, to those companies that may not have realized the marketability or potential of a well-told story; it’s time to pursue the same creativity and innovation that has bolstered so many advertising spots before.