High Fidelity Storytelling: A New & Improved Advertising Paradigm
In this blog Shep teaches you about Hi-Fi Storytelling, a new & improved thought process for brand storytelling and advertising that builds human connections through contextual & personal experiences.
In the very beginning, There was a story.
Since the dawn of man we’ve used stories to teach, to convey ideas and values, to connect, and to convince.
Stories form our culture. Stories shape our lives. They have an inherent power to deeply move us when they are told the right way. As the saying goes:
However, since the very beginning these stories have been told in ways that offer limited immersion for the audience.
Our early ancestors relied on tools to advance their capabilities, just like we do with smartphones, electric cars, and Photoshop.
But they didn’t have the same tools we have today for activating stories in visceral and compelling ways.
Today we share our stories ceaselessly in an attempt to connect with someone, anyone, who might appreciate our message.
That means billions of humans are trying to tell stories that are word of mouth, printed on paper, tweeted, or shared on a screen.
It’s getting noisy.
The landscape of content & marketing in 2019 is a maelstrom - a chaotic shouting match as brands and storytellers vie for your attention in crowded channels.
It’s the equivalent of a street market where every vendor is loudly and aggressively hawking their wares at anyone who passes in hopes that they might be the one who buys today.
Unless our imagination is firing on all cylinders, it can be hard for the stories we see in these overflowing platforms to take us deeper than surface level.
engagement & context are what matter.
When the story doesn’t engage, our efforts are wasted. That’s why we believe in the interactive future of storytelling.
[10 min read: our Playground Technique article is the best resource available today for new interactive storytellers.]
If you feel like you are being followed everywhere by digital billboards and megaphones blaring their message at you, you’re not alone.
These low quality attempts to engage you are the result of brands that don’t know how to tell an interactive 21st century story…
who then hire agencies run by people who don’t really know how to excite digital natives…
so they run campaigns that look like literally every other story out there…
and now that brand’s growth is banking on the same process all of their competitors are using…
Silly, right? Beaumonde prefers to do things differently.
Ditch the wimpy Lo-fi storytelling.
When advertisers put content before context you get low-fidelity storytelling that is ineffective, lacking in authenticity, and generally wimpy in terms of results delivered.
Their lo-fi message is being delivered with blunt force, bludgeoning conversions out of customers with little regard for the actual customer experience.
Click through rates on display ads average something like 0.2%. That’s basically like saying only 1 out of every 500 people cared enough to click.
Banner blindness has become content blindness, and it’s imperative that we phoenix the old-world ad paradigm and give a better, more beautiful system the chance to emerge from the ashes.
Want better engagement rates? Well… you should tell a better story.
Our hi-fi storytelling campaigns regularly reach engagement rates of over 25%, with frequent 50% benchmarks and even once or twice a >90% engagement rate.
Pretty much everyone agrees - the old way of advertising and marketing sucks. It’s broken, annoying, and ineffective. And Beaumonde is working to fix it.
The New strategy for Storytellers
Emerging technology & marketing strategy has opened up a new paradigm for storytelling.
At Beaumonde we call it High Fidelity Storytelling, or Hi-Fi Storytelling.
Before the rise of mobile phones, stories were essentially told in flat / two-dimensional mediums like print, TV, on screens/billboards, or with limited sensory mediums such as radio broadcasts / word of mouth stories.
In 2019, our storytelling options expand into the Metaverse thanks to the tech that’s built into our handheld devices and our computers.
What this means is that we’ve entered into a storytelling Renaissance that is fundamentally changing the way we tell stories. Using tools like augmented reality, virtual reality, and interactive media like 3D photos, stories can now be told with increasing levels of depth.
There’s still an essential place for the 2D & flat storytelling options as culturally speaking they inform the essence of how we consume our media.
BUT… there is now an opportunity to take the story deeper in all areas, no matter what the platform or channel is.
Whether it’s on a mobile phone, a desktop computer, a VR headset, or some kind of spatial computing experience, we are able to dive into experiences rich in fidelity.
This means as storytellers we have a new responsibility (read: opportunity) to take people deeper than ever before into the experience of a story.
Fidelity: Moving from Low to High
In the same way that audio experienced a revolution with the transition from Lo-fi to Hi-fi sound, visual media is going through a similar increase in fidelity.
Merriam-Webster’s dictionary entry for fidelity includes the following definitions:
“accuracy in details; exactness”
“the degree to which an electronic device (such as a record player, radio, or television) accurately reproduces its effect (such as sound or picture)”
So when I refer to Hi-Fi Storytelling, I’m referencing the nature of these storytelling mediums as more accurate in their reproduction of the actual story.
Here’s one useful exploration of high vs. low fidelity media from changingminds.org. They say:
“High fidelity media send messages that are complete, requiring little extra interpretation. They are clear and easy to understand.”
“Low fidelity media send messages that are incomplete, requiring the person involved to put noticeable effort into assimilating the message.”
For brands that trade culturally on the idea of their brand experience, Hi-Fi Storytelling is a revelation of paramount importance.
Imagine if you discovered a whole new range of colors…
If you were to wake up one day in world full of new & different colors, it would be a vibrant experience - you’d have completely new ways to express yourself and you’d need to create new language to explain the colors.
That’s what High Fidelity Storytelling is like.
The experiential / interactive nature of hi-fi media gives us a whole new world of tools to use as we try to accurately convey experiences through digital formats.
Test driving a car is easy. But what about test driving a music festival experience? High fidelity media gives us a way to finally bridge this gap.
When someone is considering whether they want to spend $250 on a festival ticket or $2500 on a VIP experience, what do you think factors into their purchase decision?
High fidelity media lets us represent these experiences in new and more compelling ways.
If you’re an event promoter and no one really knows what they’re spending $2500 on for your event then you won’t sell many tickets.
Those flat photos of last year’s event are okay, but they do nothing to actually differentiate your experience or provide a better representation of the event itself.
However, using a 360° video of last year’s event could be a much more compelling driver of ticket purchases when executed correctly.
What Hi-Fi Storytelling does is help our customers and fans more easily imagine themselves partaking of an experience.
Giving them these tools as they make their decisions means that they have much more valuable context to consider.
Instead of having to fully imagine what it would be like to be at an event, they can use these high fidelity elements to more effectively gauge how an experience fits into their life.
And within this same context, Hi-Fi Storytelling helps us build a deeper connection with a brand that is committed to sharing a richer and more authentic story.
As customers demand authenticity and transparency from the brands they support, high fidelity storytelling is something of a silver bullet.
It’s an opportunity to build renewed trust with customers by saying “We are committed to telling the full story - not just a curated moment".
When a brand chooses to use Hi-Fi media for their storytelling, they are pulling back a veil that has obscured their messaging for a long time.
No one is perfect, and we don’t expect brands to be either. (This is part of the reason why live broadcasting has also become a powerful tool for brands who want to tell more authentic stories.)
High fidelity storytelling shares the whole story with us - or at least more than we’ve ever had before.
As this new philosophy permeates across industries, the brands that will win are the brands that adopt this new philosophy with vigor.
Beaumonde is here to be your strategic partner as your brand makes this transition into a new era of storytelling.
There are lots of questions that come up when these discussions hit the board room, and we’re ready to help you answer them all.
From marketing strategies to content production to new experiential brand partnerships, Beaumonde is building the Hi-Fi Storytelling system that gives brands the tools to build deeper relationships with fans and customers in the 21st century.