Google and Droga5: Tech Innovations Cannot Replace Storytelling

ClickZ at Advertising WeekWhile mobile is dramatically shifting the way advertisers create content, the importance of storytelling remains the same: smart brands produce content that has a layer of emotion, empathy and authenticity, according to senior executives from Google and agency Droga5.

During her fireside chat at Advertising Week, Lorraine Twohill, senior vice president of global marketing at Google, said that while Google is naturally data-intense, technology serves as an enabler.

“With a huge amount of data, we know more than ever about consumers but consumers know more about us, as well. So for me, storytelling is a critical part of what we do and our creative work,” said Twohill.

Twohill continued that storytelling has been a journey for the marketing department at Google. When she joined the company 12 years ago, her team was focused on creating informative and educational content around new products, such as key features that users need to know.

“The content was valuable because it explained what we were doing, but it couldn’t make people feel anything,” she added. “I think emotion, empathy is hugely important to marketing.” 

From an agency’s standpoint, David Droga, founder and creative chairman at Droga5, thinks that while mobile technology provides more platforms for content creation and distribution, those channels are just canvases. And the ad industry is moving from selling products or services to creating an experience that people want to share.

“People think that technology is a solution or an answer: the idea is to be on Instagram, Snapchat or Vine, and the idea is to do this or do that,” Droga said during the fireside chat. “But mobile, like TV, is a just glorious canvas. Before you decide to create something, you need to think why everyone gives a s**t about it. You need to consider people’s reaction.”

In order to put a layer of emotion into content, Droga5 took a simple approach in its latest campaign called “Friends Furever” for Google Android. The animal video doesn’t show anything about technology, but it delivers a message – “Be Together. Not the Same.” – that distinguishes Android from its competitors.

Twohill and Droga believe that the speed of technology requires marketers to be more creative and agile in order to keep up with the change. One of the biggest challenges down the road is the fact that mobile consumers expect immediacy from brands, according to Twohill.

“There’s a context of immediacy that marketers need to be smart about. For example, Oreo tweeted about Super Bowl. On Tuesday, Google Doodle celebrated water on Mars in response to the news from NASA,” she said. “That’s new for us because we usually create doodles around someone that was dead for a hundred years. We are looking to do more doodles around real-time events.”

In spite of the challenges, Droga thinks that the intersection of creativity and technology provides many opportunities for advertisers, and he is looking to experiment with advanced mediums like virtual reality (VR).

“The industry will get better and better if creativity and technology can become more complementary. For example, VR is incredible. I’m very excited to create VR content,” he said.

Homepage image via Shutterstock

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