One of my favorite sessions this year was with Mandy Mandelstein of LuxLoop, an experience-design and production studio. Mandelstein referred to our current age of storytelling as the “Wild Wild West”, meaning that apps likes Facebook and Snapchat are consistently changing how we tell stories. A fellow film lover and maker, Mandelstein, researched how storytelling started, before social media, before television and discovered cave drawings at the beginning.
Armed with knowledge on the origins of storytelling and the elements that made it whole, Mandelstein began applying technology to create not only a story but an experience. She shared with a packed room ways to adapt your storytelling to 2017.
1. Passive Interaction vs Natural Interaction
Did you ever read those Choose Your Own Adventure books as a kid? The fun books that allowed you to pick how the adventure would end; if you’d open the door to the haunted house, take the bridge or swim in a lake, interact with a character or keep walking. Mandelstein believes that we still want this natural interaction in stories.
When telling your brand’s story think about, beyond call-to-actions, how you can add in natural interaction. Do you incorporate vertical videos into your marketing strategy or offer users to pick their character.
Get creative and discover your story’s natural interaction. Google Doodle is the perfect example of natural interaction through storytelling of birthdays, anniversaries, and pop culture references.
2. Consumption Changes
From cave drawings to smartphones and everything in between our consumption has changed and it will continue to change. The consumption of your brand’s story has changed as well and it needs to be where your audience is consuming.
Think about meeting your audience where they're at, on their smartphones, their vertical smartphones. Mandelstein encouraged the audience to create content that “loses the frame” and are inclusive of what viewers are already doing. Snapchat ads are a creative example of vertical ads.
3. Immersive Storytelling
Virtual reality was a big thing at SXSW and it is no different for Mandelstein and her team at LuxLoop. VR is clunky with headsets, smartphones, cords, and chairs which can leave the user feeling weighed down. Mandelstein recommends to take away the headsets and create an immersive experience.
Use the four walls around you, create an environment that tells your story and immerse your audience. Refinery29’s 29 Rooms is an excellent example of an immersive story.