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GUEST BLOG - Dayoan Daumont: Tech Beyond the Screen - the basics don’t change

Dayoan Daumont Innovation Director at world renown marketing agency OgilvyOne was a speaker at our Digital Catapult Centre Brighton event Tech Beyond The Screen: Real-time Place-based Digital Marketing at The FuseBox on 16th March 2016. Here, he shares his thoughts in this area, and his predictions for the future.

"In Utah a Virtual Reality theme park, The Void, allows its participants to physically experience an alternate reality. The space is physically real the users dawn gear that transports them to an alien world while they venture through the space. Over 180 years ago two immigrants to the US, one a candle maker the other made soaps, from Ireland and Britain found themselves in Cincinnati Ohio. They married sisters shortly thereafter partnered to form Procter & Gamble. Years later their sons figured out that in order to reach their audience, primarily housewives, they had to create a reason for them to tune it, Soap Opera’s were born.

On the surface these examples are worlds apart, their users, the technology, the time in which they lived. Yet they are connected by the one thing that is most important to us as humans, the story.  Joseph Campbell said “I don't believe people are looking for the meaning of life as much as they are looking for the experience of being alive.”, when we connect with a narrative we not only read it or view it we experience it. In that moment our minds file that moment away into our own personal narrative.

The best brands invite you to experience them as part of a larger social context and in a truly personal way. Apple constantly gets rolled out as the brand to mimic, in many work sessions I ask clients and of ourselves, “If we were Apple how would we solve this problem?”. This intangible power is squarely found in their narrative, they've managed to weave into the plural psyche a relationship between user and device, it’s not a technology message it’s a relationship story. Apple asks “Why?”, why should I care about this phone, MP3 player, watch, tablet over any other in the market. The answer created a vision for the brand to explore a sense of family, community, membership. You are being invited to join in conversation with Apple and in exchange they will give you devices that help you live your life to the fullest. That promise is created by a compelling narrative that most brands miss.

In 2015 Cannes winners included the Volvo ‘spray paint for cyclists’ and Googles VR cardboard goggles. They managed to provoke the imagination in unexpected ways but their story moves us. The New York Times uses Google cardboard to bring compelling stories seen like never before with no cost to the user, they already have the player, their mobile. Volvo tackles cycling safety by creating a spray that illuminates when vehicle headlights shine on any object sprayed. This is compelling narrative the story is not unilateral it borrows into the relationship and obsessed humans as we all are crave connections.

Our industry is inundated with then next new technology, new ways of doing things, and to add yet another layer of chaos a customer that is connected 24/7 and has the patience of a mosquito. We struggle to help our brands catch up with this change, but what we all secretly hide is our own internal struggle to keep up is just as furious. We focus on the how, when, where and we latch on to the next trend in hopes to get noticed. But we need to focus on what’s always worked, the Why?. This forces us to take a look at our customers through their eyes. Why should I want to care, or buy, or consider, or focus on your message. We are now in the show not tell world but never has story and narrative been more important. When we experience the story as part of our lives we finally connect, we surpass the simple message of a better mousetrap and find a way to make it a meaningful conversation."

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