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Membership offers a range of exclusive benefits, from early access to Credos research to invitations to exclusive networking events. The Front Foot network helps us shape the annual agenda and means members are at the forefront of the latest thinking and industry initiatives of value to their businesses.

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The New Tools of Engagement: Voice, AR, Chatbox and AI

/ June 5th 2020 / Ellie Mason
UK Advertising Export Group

We have told stories since the dawn of time and the way we tell stories is constantly evolving. It’s fair to say that 2020 looks set to be a year that we talk about in story form for generations to come.

Here, the UK is home to some of the world’s leading storytellers and the UK Advertising Exports Group (UKAEG) celebrates those narrators from right across the advertising industry who help brands tell their stories around the world. This is just one of the many reasons why the UK is a global hub for advertising and marketing services.

Much of our work is driven by our position as the world’s most advanced digital advertising economy, third only in size to the UK and China, according to a recent report by Credos, UK advertising’s think tank. As we adapt to the impact of Covid-19, UK advertising is very much open for business and continues to work with clients and partners all around the world.

As such, storytelling and new tools of engagement were the topic of talk this afternoon (June 9) at Createch 2020 – a virtual global leadership summit and festival of AI & emerging technology.

Aisling Conlon, Marketing Manager for UKAEG, facilitated the session and was joined by three other UKAEG members – Daniel Cheetham, CEO of Happy Finish; Kibwe Tavares, Film Maker & Architect, Factor 15 and Nexus Studios; and Matt Duhig, Co-Founder & Technical Director at FX Digital.

Aisling kicked off the session by asking whether storytelling has played a role in helping us get through the Covid-19 lockdown and all the time that we have been spending indoors. In response to this, Kibwe noted that especially during this time, there are many benefits in escaping reality via a story and getting lost in a different narrative. Matt agreed and said that this can also be related to voice assistants such as Google Assistant – with more people being at home, naturally more people are using tech such as this. Daniel continued by observing that voice tech creates a form of social interaction, which is something humans thrive off, and is therefore more engaging. So yes, storytelling has played a role in the current environment.

Conversation soon moved onto the overarching theme of the summit – getting the next ten years right. Matt stated that there is an enormous opportunity now for brands to take a risk and create innovative stories, encouraging them to start now and think about what exactly they’d want to tell. Kibwe followed on from this by discussing the benefits of tech in the way that it is giving more people access to tell their stories, and therefore in general we have a broader range of narratives, which is a good thing. The panel agreed that when it comes to storytelling, brands should focus on the story first, before thinking about what tech could be used to support and execute the telling of it.

Looking to the future, Aisling asked what could be coming up for voice and AR in the next year. Daniel noted that Apple is one to watch, particularly in the eyewear space, and there are fast developments happening in the engine space. Looking even further, the panel discussed what we could see from tools of engagement in the next twenty years. All agreed that this would very much be about survival, and how the industry can encourage positive behavioural change.

Finally, when asked what advice the panel would give to brands on how to involve tech in their stories, Matt reiterated it is important to think about the story first, before finding a company to discuss how best to execute it. Daniel agreed, advising brands to look at goals, objectives and the audience before talking candidly with a company about the tech tools that could tell it.

If you have any questions or would like to know more about the work of the UK Advertising Export Group, please email Aisling on Aisling.Conlon@adassoc.org.uk.

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