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OMD’s Rozen: You Have To Build Stories, Not Just Tell Them

While the role of media agencies in telling advertiser’ stories continues to evolve, storytelling alone is not enough to move the needle. OMD uses both homemade and acquired technology and platform partners “to actually build stories, not just tell stories,” says Chief Digital & Innovation Officer Doug Rozen.

“The creative agencies are fantastic at telling stories. But stories just being told isn’t enough anymore,” Rozen adds in this interview with Beet.TV. “We see our job as story builders as much as the story telling still needs to happen.”

Creative versioning has long been based on campaign performance, as in “We’re seeing the red ad perform better than the blue ad. But what we’re also able now to overlay is audience understanding.”

The combination of data and technology facilitates amending creative “to be more bespoke to the situation that the consumer is in,” says Rozen. “Not just is red better than blue, but this call to action is going to resonate better because we believe that we’ve seen certain actions or indicators prior that allows us to optimize.”

Asked whether creative versioning is more suited to niche or broad targeting, Rozen says, “It can scale fantastically because a lot of what we’re talking about is technology driving this.”

With the role of creative agencies being to create assets, as those assets are developed technology “allows us to deliver this type of thinking at scale. More and more of our clients are looking for this type of advantageous way of connecting with consumers.”

Rozen doesn’t believe in a world of end-to-end, one-to-one personalized ad messaging. To him, it’s less about the medium and more about the format and using tools and technologies to drive more personalized stories.

“We don’t have to just serve one ad to all people. We can now get more granular. I don’t think all brands at all times need to be one to one. I think that has its place and it’s not for everyone.”

Alternatives include “one to many or one to fewer or one to some. It doesn’t always have to be one to one, but it also doesn’t have to be one to all, either.”

This video is part of The Road to Cannes, a preview of topics to be addressed at Cannes Lions. The series is presented by the FreeWheel Council for Premium Video. For more videos from the series, please visit this page.  FreeWheel is a Comcast company.