• Sh_110726_int-narr-_w_-8584

    Kate Stanners

  • Sh_110726_int-narr-_w_-8598

    Kate Stanners

  • Sh_110726_int-narr-_w_-8605

    Q&A

  • Sh_110726_int-narr-_w_-8619

    Audience questions

  • Sh_110726_int-narr-_w_-8624

    Mikey Please, Kate Stanners, Maria Smith

  • Sh_110726_int-narr-_w_-8626
  • Sh_110726_int-narr-_w_-8639
  • Sh_110726_int-narr-_w_-8651
  • Sh_110726_int-narr-_w_-8656

    Jane and Maria from Studio Weave

Events

On [Narrative]: Event write-up (2)

Posted by Maya Davies,

Advertising virtuoso Kate Stanners (Saatchi & Saatchi) shared the wealth of experience she has gained over her prolific career, beginning with her stories of working on various campaigns for Cadbury’s Flake – the original campaign was created by her father, himself an advertising top-dog in his day.

In advertising you are often presented with dry, frustrating problems, she conceded. The key is finding ways to make it interesting to people, which is not necessarily in-keeping with what the clients think is interesting! Visual storytelling helps to engage people – it’s unifying regardless of language barriers and cultural nuances.

And one nugget of advice: “It’s always good to get a bottom in there. Particularly a boy’s bottom.”

It seems today’s buzz words in advertising are “brand narrative”. Saatchi & Saatchi work closely on a long-term basis with brands to communicate their story. With the T-mobile campaign Welcome Back, Kate purposefully steered clear of the client’s notion of “sharing magic moments”, instead constructing their own spectacles in unexpected public places, which people could choose to share.

The T-Mobile Welcome Back HD from Travis Lee on Vimeo.

Kate explained that it tapped into basic stories we all know and can all relate to. The 60% increase in sales figures following the ad demonstrated that emotion is a powerful tool for communicating an idea. And once a brand narrative is established, you can re-tell and react to stories happening in the world using the same format and visual language – in the case of T-mobile this was the wedding of the year

The Q&A with all three speakers raised some interesting comparisons between their different approaches to narrative. Mikey doesn’t have a resolution in mind when he begins writing, neither do Studio Weave. In fact, they don’t need people to know the story to appreciate the architecture they create. But for Kate, there needs to be a (loose) structure, and an idea of the final emotion or response Saatchi is seeking from the audience.

When asked whether they’ve got a backlog of stories they’re waiting to tell, Mikey agreed there’s a bunch of things he’s trying to find an outlet for. Kate made us laugh recounting how her creative team sometimes re-present the same ideas packaged in new ways. The lesson to be learnt: you can’t try and fit stories to any problem. Similarly, Maria is adamant Studio Weave would never write a story without a site in mind.

Once again, a massive thank you to Red Bull for doing such a good job of looking after us, and to everyone who came along to the event.

On [Activism], the last talk in the series takes place on 11th August, featuring Ken Garland, Francesca Gavin and Lucienne Roberts. Tickets go on sale next week. Make sure you don’t miss out, we reckon these will go like hot cakes!

Images: Steve Stills for Red Bull Co. Ltd.

Posted by Maya Davies

Maya joined It’s Nice That in 2011 as our first ever events manager as well as writing for the site, in particular about architecture. She left in the summer of 2013.

Most Recent: Advertising View Archive

  1. List

    Film4 has been one of the UK’s foremost production companies since its inception in 1982, responsible for titles like Trainspotting, Paris, Texas, Hunger and This Is England among many others. They’re also the UK’s number one film channel, screening films for free since 2010. But we’ve always just liked them for their weird TV spots. When they launched their free service four years ago they had Lucy Liu, Ewan McGregor, Gael Garcia Bernal and Judi Dench dressed up in all manner of strange outfits making fools of themselves. Now they’ve grown up a bit and have a new look to show off, but the ads are no less enjoyable.

  2. List

    It’s been nearly a year now since Breaking Bad ended although its die-hard fans remain evangelical in explaining to literally anybody how they really should have seen it by now. Maybe this will distract them for a while, as Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul have reunited for this super six-minute promo to mark Audi’s sponsorship of Monday’s Emmy Awards. We find the duo running a slightly creepy pawn shop where they encounter Veep star Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who is trying to pawn her Emmy statuette after drunkenly buying an island because she was jealous of Celine Dion. There are lots of nicely sly nods to the pair’s previous incarnation, the merits of supporting actors and comedy vs drama, and there are (so I am told) a few neat Breaking Bad in-jokes too. The high-production values help of course but it’s the script that sets this apart.

  3. Scclist

    If Quentin Tarantino made ads, they’d look like this. The scene is a dark, chintzy bar. Our protagonist wears a studded denim jacket and glitzy gold earrings. There’s a song in the background about Little Red Riding Hood, and I think we all know who’s the Big Bad Wolf.

  4. List

    There has been a lot of discussion about brand stories recently, but it’s important to differentiate between vaguely extrapolated marketing gimmicks and genuine humdingers of revolution and exile, fire and earthquakes. BACARDÍ boasts a heritage that includes an astonishing array of interesting tales, and they’ve drawn on this rich reserve to create their very own graphic novel.

  5. List

    There was a time when it was all about fitting in, running with the in-crowd and following the masses. But over recent years we’ve all come to realise that it’s much more interesting to dare to be different and that weird and unusual can be so much more exciting.

  6. Main

    The word “sumptuous” shouldn’t be thrown around willy nilly, but in the context of a new Johnnie Walker whisky ad featuring Jude Law lounging on what could be the world’s most expensive antique boat, lolling about on the sapphire Mediterranean, it’s totally acceptable. You may well have seen the Johnnie Walker ad in collaboration with Mr Porter going around the web last week, a 6-minute visual feast that is infused with style and money and a Talented Mr Ripley-vibe. Tom Cockram, a photographer we hold very dear to our hearts, has put all the behind-the-scenes shots from this ad that was directed by Jake Scott up on his site, and I’m tempted to say that I’m enjoying these even more than the ad itself.

  7. Ifvlist

    Do I love this ad campaign more because it’s French? Probably. It’d be super cool from anywhere though. Intermarché – a big supermarket chain in France – decided it was time to save an endangered species from the rubbish bin; ugly duckling fruit and veg. In the UK a whopping 40% of greens don’t reach our shelves simply for being a bit unfortunate looking and globally we waste $750 billion worth of food each year. Ouch.

  8. List

    If you watched any of this year’s World Cup you’ll most likely have noticed all the players strutting about in pairs of weightless neon boots. If, like me, you don’t really pay attention to that kind of thing, then you may not have known what they were. Luckily this stunning spot from ManvsMachine grabbed my attention for long enough to inform me that they were Nike’s latest Mercurial Superfly boot, capable of eviscerating a giant marble army of footballing warriors with their superhuman speed. But more important than my education in high-performance footwear was my appreciation of the phenomenal skill of Mike Alderson and his team at ManvsMachine whose ability to turn pure fiction into a believable, 3D-rendered reality is nothing short of breathtaking.

  9. List

    Remember the Speedo-clad old dude strolling casually through beach-bronzed beautiful people in Wieden + Kennedy’s hugely popular Southern Comfort spot a few years back? Course you do (and it’s still worth a watch in case you were wondering). Anyway Young Gun is the latest spot in the campaign and we think it’s another winner. If you’ve ever stood incandescent with rage as a barman holds up the entire queue showing off their “moves,” then you’ll enjoy this.

  10. List

    You and I dear reader look at a beret and see what? A GCSE textbook staple; an affectation, an effortless shorthand stereotype (often teamed up with a stripey Breton top and a string of onions)? But directorial team Tenis looked at a beret and realised it could be repurposed into a perfect record player. This charming short spot has been released to promote the new collaboration between peSeta and Marc Jacobs, although the espadrilles themselves don’t make an appearance until quite late in the day.

  11. List

    According to the new Stella Artois campaign, “There are no rules,” and “Continuity is clearly overrated.” These mysterious instructions actually come from the great Wim Wenders, who stars in the new Stella promotional short titled Wim Wenders’ Rules of Cinema Perfection.

  12. List

    This advertising world descended on Cannes last week for the annual sun-kissed celebration of some of the best work created during the past 12 months. With multiple winners across the 16 categories you’d be forgiven for struggling to keep up with who won what, but the excellent official winners’ website is the best place to get acquainted with the big picture. Here we’ve picked out a few examples of winners that caught our eye; some bits we’d championed on the site before and some we came across for the first time via the Lions.

  13. List

    Whenever Tom Darracott and Carl Burgess join forces the results are spectacular. The two directors and digital specialists are experts at creating polished 3D-generated worlds that feel part computer game, part hyper-real dream – every element a slightly altered version of a recognisable, real-world object. Even when they’re advertising clothes the pair produce unconventional results that delight and disorientate your eyes with their effortless surrealism. Their latest campaign for Loft is no exception, showing the brand’s brightly coloured collection folding itself into a state of geometric order.