Human beings can think for themselves and give others ideas that they will respond to, regardless of what the data says.
Andrew O’Dell is the Co-Founder & CEO of Pereira O’Dell, an award-winning digital advertising agency. Their work on Intel and Toshiba won an Emmy. Pereira O’Dell was named Fast Company’s Most Innovative Ad Agency and one of Forbes Most Influential Agencies.
In this episode of Velocitize Talks, O’Dell shares his thoughts on brands, storytelling, and audience engagement.
The rise of content marketing (2:28)
I see [content] evolving. You need mass appeal, you need larger budgets. I think more brands will get involved and they’re still kind of tinkering on the edges of it when they can really quantify the results of what it is.
In 10 Branded Content Trends to Watch in 2019, Ad Age referred to the branded content space as “always evolving,” with 86 percent of business to consumer (B2C) brands now employing content marketing and investing in quality storytelling.
Pereira O’Dell has worked with such recognizable brands as Intel, Stella Artois and Coca-Cola. They partnered with the Ad Council to encourage younger people to embrace social distancing.
Creativity and data (3:04)
They work well together sometimes and sometimes they don’t work well together. We’re only trying to hit the people that we need to hit.
What began as a marketing campaign for Pereira O’Dell cybersecurity client Netscout became one of the most talked about films at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival. Lo and Behold: Reveries of the Connected World, a documentary which explored digital transformation and featured Elon Musk, ended up winning two gold pencils for Branded Documentary at One Show.
Go goldfish (3:42)
We looked at what is going to be the one thing we can do for them that’s going to be interesting. We don’t care if other people see it or not as long as these people see it. If you can do that, the attention span of a goldfish opens up a lot because you’re talking to them in the right way.
Consumers love a good story (and marketers love it when their stories go viral). As HubSpot noted in a blog post, “The human brain is wired to respond to well-crafted narrative—neuroscience proves that storytelling is the best way to capture people’s attention, bake information into their memories, and forge close, personal bonds.”
Story crafting (4:49)
Great storytelling is hard…it’s hard to be consistently good and almost impossible to be consistently great.
Any great story has the same components: Relatable characters, conflict, emotion and resolution of the problem. In other words, it has a story arc. We love good stories—they’re addictive, they’re memorable. In addition, at one point in history, they became a record of who we were. Ensure your story is authentic and speaks to your customer to strike a chord with them by touching on their needs, beliefs and desires to create brand fans.
There is a pattern of companies who do something well once and then they just try to redo it and redo it and redo it.
Value-added content is original. It’s something that informs or educates. A DemandGen 2019 survey found that 63% of respondents say they are willing to share information to access webinars. Another 49% say they would share information for white papers. Consumers are also increasingly decluttering their digital lives into things that add value.
(Source: ADI Summit Survey 2019)
Opportunity knocks (9:13)
I do think it’s a golden opportunity for many companies that aren’t saddled with thousands of people or hundreds of people to be able to take a few people and say this is where we’re going, this is what we’re doing.
A key part of advertising in today’s world is AI. WP Engine conducted a study on building better values-driven digital experiences with AI and found that success requires brands to balance personalization with privacy.