‘We are no longer talking to an audience’ says US director of Google’s The Zoo

Creatives are no longer talking to audiences because the power and control has shifted to the user, the director of The Zoo Americas has said.

Speaking about the new age of ‘hypertelling’ at Mumbrella360, Yapp said after stories are posted online, they become “malleable” and the control is handed to the user.

Michael Yapp speaks at Mumbrella360

“Your communication has to be always on. Notice what I said, communication. Not your advertisement, which is important,” he told the audience.

“I’m not sure what it is anymore, I’m not sure we are talking about advertising anymore. What I like to call it now is innovative communication.

“Stories now have become completely malleable. What do I mean by that? Once they are posted online, things can change,” he explained.

“One of the most interesting things about that change is that the power has shifted.

“We are no longer talking an audience. It’s very rare that we do this online anymore. The user – you – are in control.”

He added the user expects advertising to be a “tool.”

“Why? I’m not going to watch anything unless it’s going to have the anticipation of being entertaining.”

Commenting on the concept of hypertelling – a term Yapp uses to describe the exploitation of content marked by interaction and participation – he said it was important advertisers allowed for participation.

“If you allow for participation, things can get very interesting.

“What we have to recognises as creatives and branders, is that we are on the cusp of something completely different. The user is the one who is going to be the author. Your content, your brand message – they’re going to determine what that means.

“The experience if you are on the cusp of this, if you’re exploiting it – a brand experience or a content experience – it has to be immersive.

“Finally, the story will be non-linear.”

As director of Google’s The Zoo in the US, Yapp said he no longer looks for “regular copywriters”, but rather those who are able to create content which can transform into hyper-telling.

“When an agency is asking or a brand is asking where should they be looking for writers that can do this kind of content, I say they should at least expose their copywriters to gaming and how gaming writers have been doing.

“Scripts are going to look like decision trees now. Directors are going to direct remotely,” he said.

“The next thing we want to think about is that there’ll be no stage or audience. You’ll be able to walk through it.

“Finally, the user is going to be able to make their own reality. They’ll be able to go where they want to go.

“360 video is basically the entry drug into all of this,” he added.

Yapp said while he’s “tired of selling things that people don’t want”, edification of people can make things interesting.

“The lines are beginning to blur. The story and medium is beginning to fuse and if we can tell that story and actually manage to edify the user then I think we all win.”

“We are becoming more than simply storytellers, now we are becoming story-doers and I would say those that embrace this very idea can deliver more than a story.

“What they can do is deliver a service, or experience and more importantly an opportunity to learn from the user.”


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