James Milward
2
3
Put Simply, We Make:

‘Digitally Accelerated Stories’

4
5
6
7
Because really,

WE’RE ALL
STORYTELLERS

8
“When emotionally absorbed in
character and plot, we are easy to
mold and manipulate”
- Jonathan Gottschall,
The Storytell...
Traditional Media Ecosystem

PLAYERS

FORMATS

PLATFORMS

10
STORY = LINEAR

11
Traditional Media Ecosystem
PLAYERS
Institutional (99%)
Brands
Creative Agencies
Production Co’s
Broadcasters
Publishers

...
Traditional Media Ecosystem

CONTROLLED BY FEW
= CLOSED SYSTEM

13
Traditional Media Ecosystem

ONE WAY
CONVERSATION

14
LINEAR PROCESS
{Character +
Predicament +
Attempted Extrication}
15
BUT THEN...

16
MASS
CONNECTIVITY

17
DEMOCRACY

UBIQUITY

18
MASS
LEVELING

19
CHOICE +
ENLIGHTENMENT

20
The ‘New’ Media Model + Ecosystem
PLAYERS
Institutional (60%)
Brands
Creative Agencies
Production Co’s
Broadcasters
Media ...
The ‘New’ Media Model + Ecosystem
PLAYERS
Institutional (60%)
Brands
Creative Agencies
Production Co’s
Broadcasters
Media ...
The ‘New’ Media Model + Ecosystem

‘TRUE’
CONVERSATION

23
STORYTELLING
EVOLVES
24
Exponential growth and change
can create exponential problems...

25
COMPETITION

26
27
COMPLEXITY

28
LOSS OF
CONTEXT

29
MORE CHOICE =
FRAGMENTATION

30
INTERACTIVE PROCESS

{Character + Predicament + Attempted Extrication}

31
INTERACTIVE PROCESS

{Character + Predicament + Attempted Extrication}

- Who is this
now?

- If users can
reach back how ...
CONTROL = ILLUSION

33
IF CONTROL
~
THEN
~
BE IN CHARGE
34
BUT HOW?

35
We break every project into 3 phases:

STORY

+

FORM

+

FUNCTION
A DEFINED ITERATIVE CULTURE
Which has created a unique and proprietary PROCESS for:

Collaborative Ideation +
Interactive ...
NEW PROCESS REQUIRES
• New types of teams
• New formats for story connection ‘hooks’
• An iterative approach to execution ...
OUR TEAM IS MADE UP OF:
• Strategists
• Creative Producers / Story Engineers
• Art Directors + Designers
• HTML5, Unity, F...
CREATE COMMON ASSUMPTIONS:
• No one cares about our story = Need to grab attention
• Characters = Key to attracting empath...
Case Studies

41
Case Studies:

Stanfield’s
Inventing a story that takes on a life of it’s own...
Who We Are Our Work Discussion
Who We Are Our Work Discussion

Stanfield’s Reel
http://www.thesecretlocation.com/projects/stanfields-the-guyat-home-in-his-...
Who We Are Our Work Discussion
Who We Are Our Work Discussion
Who We Are Our Work Discussion
Who We Are Our Work Discussion
Stanfield’s Results
• In less than 7 days, we reached our goal of 25,000 likes on
Facebook and reached 50,000 likes and $50...
Stanfield’s Process & Learning
• Question why doe this matters to anyone?
• Stories with a purpose are inherently more mean...
Case Studies:

Big Brother
Adapting behaviour, to augment and engage a
totally new story...
Big Brother Case Study & Reel
http://www.thesecretlocation.com/projects/big-brother-canada
Big Brother Results
On TV:
• 2.7 million Canadians tuning in weekly
Digitally:
• Over 1.3 million hours of streamed live f...
Big Brother Process & Learning
• Gaining insight into existing behaviour is critical.
• Don’t invent behaviour - enfranchi...
Case Studies:

Playgrounds
Creating utility out of an aspirational story
Who We Are Our Work Discussion
Who We Are Our Work Discussion
Playgrounds’ Results
• Over 65,000 app downloads in the first 2 months
• 95% Active user engagement and activity within the...
Playgrounds Process & Learning
• Project or a Product? - Decide what’s important about the story
• Characters / Aspiration...
Case Study (I wish was ours):

Chipotle ‘Scarecrow’
Digital Short Film + Game + Real World Reward

Disclaimer: Secret Loca...
Scarecrow Film on YouTube
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lUtnas5ScSE
Scarecrow Insights
From the outside looking in:
• Clear commitment to the message and execution at high level
• “Cultivate...
IN CONCLUSION

64
“Typewriter is a means of transcribing
thought, not expressing it.”
– Marshall McLuhan

65
We can’t fixate on Technology
Platforms or Formats

66
STORY gives connections
meaning.

67
Yet STORYTELLING will continue to
evolve.

68
REMEMBER...
These formats and platforms are as
fluid as innovation and as iterative as
our ability to adapt.

69
BE IN CHARGE
And give up the expectation of control

70
BE IN CHARGE
And give up the expectation of control

71
QUESTIONS /
DISCUSSION
mail: james@thesecretlocation.com
twitter: @secretlocation
Thank You!
mail: james@thesecretlocation.com
twitter: @secretlocation
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Presentation given at IAB Mixx on Sept. 18th 2013
http://iabcanada.com/events/mixx-canada/

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  1. 1. James Milward
  2. 2. 2
  3. 3. 3
  4. 4. Put Simply, We Make: ‘Digitally Accelerated Stories’ 4
  5. 5. 5
  6. 6. 6
  7. 7. 7
  8. 8. Because really, WE’RE ALL STORYTELLERS 8
  9. 9. “When emotionally absorbed in character and plot, we are easy to mold and manipulate” - Jonathan Gottschall, The Storytelling Animal 9
  10. 10. Traditional Media Ecosystem PLAYERS FORMATS PLATFORMS 10
  11. 11. STORY = LINEAR 11
  12. 12. Traditional Media Ecosystem PLAYERS Institutional (99%) Brands Creative Agencies Production Co’s Broadcasters Publishers FORMATS 22 + 44 min eps Movies of the week :15/:30/:60 Sec Spot Product Placement Advertorial Books, Mag & Print Ad Billboard/shelter, etc. Experiential PLATFORMS (Delivery Technology) TV Radio Outdoor Print Independent (1%) ??? Cable Access Indie Filmakers, Writers and Publishers Fan Fiction 12
  13. 13. Traditional Media Ecosystem CONTROLLED BY FEW = CLOSED SYSTEM 13
  14. 14. Traditional Media Ecosystem ONE WAY CONVERSATION 14
  15. 15. LINEAR PROCESS {Character + Predicament + Attempted Extrication} 15
  16. 16. BUT THEN... 16
  17. 17. MASS CONNECTIVITY 17
  18. 18. DEMOCRACY UBIQUITY 18
  19. 19. MASS LEVELING 19
  20. 20. CHOICE + ENLIGHTENMENT 20
  21. 21. The ‘New’ Media Model + Ecosystem PLAYERS Institutional (60%) Brands Creative Agencies Production Co’s Broadcasters Media Publishers Independent (40%) Technology Players Individuals AS Brands Anyone can become a Creative, Producer, Broadcaster + Media Publisher FORMATS PLATFORMS (Delivery Technology) 22 + 44 min eps :15/:30/:60 Sec Spot Product Placement Advertorial Print Ad Billboard TV Radio Outdoor Print Experiential Websites + Blogs Desktop Apps UGC (Vid, Img + Text) Webisodes Interactive Films Viral ‘Ads’ Display Ads Mobile Apps Connected TV Apps Desktop Browsers Desktop OS (for apps) Mobile Browsers Mobile OS (for apps) OTT Tech Boxes Connected TV’s Digital Displays ***Google Glasses ***Biometrics / Haptics 21
  22. 22. The ‘New’ Media Model + Ecosystem PLAYERS Institutional (60%) Brands Creative Agencies Production Co’s Broadcasters Media Publishers Independent (40%) Technology Players Individuals AS Brands i.e. Anyone can become a Creative, Producer, Broadcaster + Media Publisher FORMATS Websites + Blogs Desktop Apps UGC (Vid, Img + Text) Webisodes Games Interactive Films Viral + Display ‘Ads’ Mobile Apps Connected TV Apps PLATFORMS (Delivery Technology) Desktop Browsers Desktop OS (for apps) Mobile Browsers Mobile OS (for apps) OTT Boxes + Consoles Connected TV’s Digital Displays ***Google Glasses ***Biometrics / Haptics Apple = iOS + Apps + iTunes + iPhone/iPad Google = Search Engine + Google Adwords + YouTube Google = Android + Apps + Any Device + Goog Store Amazon = Custom Android + Kindle + Product Dist. Samsung = Custom Android + Connected TV’s ***Nike = Fuelband / NikeiPod + NikePlus & Facebook, Twitter, Pintrest etc, create API’s 22
  23. 23. The ‘New’ Media Model + Ecosystem ‘TRUE’ CONVERSATION 23
  24. 24. STORYTELLING EVOLVES 24
  25. 25. Exponential growth and change can create exponential problems... 25
  26. 26. COMPETITION 26
  27. 27. 27
  28. 28. COMPLEXITY 28
  29. 29. LOSS OF CONTEXT 29
  30. 30. MORE CHOICE = FRAGMENTATION 30
  31. 31. INTERACTIVE PROCESS {Character + Predicament + Attempted Extrication} 31
  32. 32. INTERACTIVE PROCESS {Character + Predicament + Attempted Extrication} - Who is this now? - If users can reach back how does this evolve the predicament? - If always online, and collaborative - what does this mean to resolutions of stories? 32
  33. 33. CONTROL = ILLUSION 33
  34. 34. IF CONTROL ~ THEN ~ BE IN CHARGE 34
  35. 35. BUT HOW? 35
  36. 36. We break every project into 3 phases: STORY + FORM + FUNCTION
  37. 37. A DEFINED ITERATIVE CULTURE Which has created a unique and proprietary PROCESS for: Collaborative Ideation + Interactive Storytelling Creative, Design + Production Data Driven Distribution 37
  38. 38. NEW PROCESS REQUIRES • New types of teams • New formats for story connection ‘hooks’ • An iterative approach to execution and refinement • Proprietary technology, which gets better & better, the more we utilize and deploy • A distinct ability to monitor / use data to improve results • Understanding of what connects and matters now, and monitoring / anticipating what will matter next • A growing, retained audience which we can re-ignite by expanding new narratives 38
  39. 39. OUR TEAM IS MADE UP OF: • Strategists • Creative Producers / Story Engineers • Art Directors + Designers • HTML5, Unity, Flash, Front & Backend Developers • iOS & Android Mobile Developers • 2 & 3D / Motion Graphics Animators • Social Media, Distribution & Activation Experts • Data Driven Story Analysts 39
  40. 40. CREATE COMMON ASSUMPTIONS: • No one cares about our story = Need to grab attention • Characters = Key to attracting empathy & emotion • Conflict / Predicament = create ‘stop & gawk’ moments • Surprise = Twist the story, so you can’t look away • Create a sense of ‘flow’ = Unconscious interaction • No one has time for our story = Easy / lazy ask • Users are living double lives = Need to appeal to both • Aspiration = Users need to share / advocate to validate 40
  41. 41. Case Studies 41
  42. 42. Case Studies: Stanfield’s Inventing a story that takes on a life of it’s own...
  43. 43. Who We Are Our Work Discussion
  44. 44. Who We Are Our Work Discussion Stanfield’s Reel http://www.thesecretlocation.com/projects/stanfields-the-guyat-home-in-his-underwear
  45. 45. Who We Are Our Work Discussion
  46. 46. Who We Are Our Work Discussion
  47. 47. Who We Are Our Work Discussion
  48. 48. Who We Are Our Work Discussion
  49. 49. Stanfield’s Results • In less than 7 days, we reached our goal of 25,000 likes on Facebook and reached 50,000 likes and $50K in 22 days. • #1 Fastest growing social media campaign in Canadian history • Pulled in over 750,000 visits over the full 25 days. • We streamed 3,266,515 minutes of video or 6.2 years • Received coverage from every major TV network, Newspaper, Radio Station and News Website in Canada = 42 Million Media Impressions and ridiculous ROI
  50. 50. Stanfield’s Process & Learning • Question why doe this matters to anyone? • Stories with a purpose are inherently more meaningful to watch • Cast and big ‘character’, who’s true story was real & unflappable • Create the right ‘predicament’ that was novel and meaningful • Let the story take the lead and the brand take the supporting role • Engage audience in a dead simple ask = ‘Like’ to donate $1 • Plan ahead in detail, and then let the story unravel naturally • Manage and respond when circumstances change • Listen to the audience and respond the what they want • Resolve and celebrate success, with the audience • Think about how the story continues after you are done running
  51. 51. Case Studies: Big Brother Adapting behaviour, to augment and engage a totally new story...
  52. 52. Big Brother Case Study & Reel http://www.thesecretlocation.com/projects/big-brother-canada
  53. 53. Big Brother Results On TV: • 2.7 million Canadians tuning in weekly Digitally: • Over 1.3 million hours of streamed live feeds • Over 23 million page views (over 30% Mobile) • Record-setting engagement: • 75,000 registered game users • 500,000 votes in Power Play / Power Shift interactions • 85,000 social shares, 53,000 Likes, 45,000 twitter follows • 1st Canadian TV show to hit #SocialTV Top 10 last season • Nominated for 2 Social TV Awards (ceremony July 16th).
  54. 54. Big Brother Process & Learning • Gaining insight into existing behaviour is critical. • Don’t invent behaviour - enfranchise existing behaviour. • The audience already tells ‘the story they care about’ so think about what they care about and then make that your story. • Make it easier for them to share - and reward them. • Competition creates great social stories. • People love to be right and ‘get it right’ in front of friends. • Creating ways to enable influence over narrative is critical. • Surprise and twists make people stay longer and come back.
  55. 55. Case Studies: Playgrounds Creating utility out of an aspirational story
  56. 56. Who We Are Our Work Discussion
  57. 57. Who We Are Our Work Discussion
  58. 58. Playgrounds’ Results • Over 65,000 app downloads in the first 2 months • 95% Active user engagement and activity within the application • Red Bull global adoption • Currently in production, a new mandate for Secret Location to expand and grow the application Check it out here: http://redbull.ca/playgrounds
  59. 59. Playgrounds Process & Learning • Project or a Product? - Decide what’s important about the story • Characters / Aspiration is the key to sparking interest • Simplicity is part of the storytelling • Features & complexity of ‘on-boarding’ audience are problematic • Tie into a similar story / auience on amplification & partner platforms that matter to the audience you’re hoping to attract • Learn and iterate as you grow - Product vs. Project means the party never ends - prepare for the long tail of the story to evolve
  60. 60. Case Study (I wish was ours): Chipotle ‘Scarecrow’ Digital Short Film + Game + Real World Reward Disclaimer: Secret Location DID NOT Produce this project, we simply admire it. Project Created by Chipotle and Moonbot Studios
  61. 61. Scarecrow Film on YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lUtnas5ScSE
  62. 62. Scarecrow Insights From the outside looking in: • Clear commitment to the message and execution at high level • “Cultivate a Better World" extends existing messaging, and creates a compelling narrative, tying into a cultural undercurrent • Common purpose makes collaboration successful • The Brand isn’t afraid to take a back seat to story • The creative process itself can grab attention and add a layer to the story that give audiences more content to share • Story can be the gateway one form / format and lead somewhere else, continuing that story in a seamless and more engaging way.
  63. 63. IN CONCLUSION 64
  64. 64. “Typewriter is a means of transcribing thought, not expressing it.” – Marshall McLuhan 65
  65. 65. We can’t fixate on Technology Platforms or Formats 66
  66. 66. STORY gives connections meaning. 67
  67. 67. Yet STORYTELLING will continue to evolve. 68
  68. 68. REMEMBER... These formats and platforms are as fluid as innovation and as iterative as our ability to adapt. 69
  69. 69. BE IN CHARGE And give up the expectation of control 70
  70. 70. BE IN CHARGE And give up the expectation of control 71
  71. 71. QUESTIONS / DISCUSSION mail: james@thesecretlocation.com twitter: @secretlocation
  72. 72. Thank You! mail: james@thesecretlocation.com twitter: @secretlocation
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