BOONE—In a high-tech, highly connected consumer market, it’s often the simple approach to advertising and marketing that garners the greatest results, according to BBDO New York advertising agency’s president and chief executive officer John Osborn.
“The basic art of storytelling is the best chance we have to connect with (consumers) in powerful ways,” Osborn said speaking during the spring Harlan E. Boyles Distinguished CEO Lecture sponsored by Appalachian State University’s Walker College of Business.
An explosion of technology and communication venues, such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube has created a perfect storm, which agencies like BBDO must steer their clients through, he said.
Osborn said people are exposed to about 5,000 different messages every day. “Each and every day there are about 492 million Tweets. Video is everywhere,” he said. “Video populates Twitter, it’s on YouTube and Facebook. Each and every day, there are 8,640,000 minutes of video being uploaded on to YouTube. That makes it challenging for us to engage with consumers who are extremely distracted by looking at their cell phone, their iPad, reading a magazine or a number of different things.”
To cut through the clutter, Osborn said his company relies on unforgettable characters, compelling story lines and some kind of social commentary or heart.
He talked about “the amplification of simplification” – “a simple story well told, simple solutions well told,” he said.
Osborn illustrated his point by showing video clips of BBDO campaigns for clients such as CVS Health, American Red Cross, Footlocker and Lowe’s Home Improvement, “that serve up gems of advice in six second interviews,” he said.
“Storytelling, story showing and visuals can carry the workload,” Osborn added.
About Appalachian State University
As the premier public undergraduate institution in the state of North Carolina, Appalachian State University prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The Appalachian Experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and to embrace diversity and difference. Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Appalachian is one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina System. Appalachian enrolls more than 20,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.
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