Incorporate storytelling in campaign messages – Odia

By Felicia Nwosu

Jude Odia, Managing Director, Starcom Media Perspectives, has emphasised the need for advertising professionals to incorporate storytelling as a structural element in their narratives and campaign messages, to help trigger actionable emotions and engagements that will build strong relationships and a thriving community of loyalists over time.

The veteran advertiser made this position during a one-on-one interview with MARKETING EDGE. Mr. Odia stated categorically that storytelling is not just the future of content marketing but simply the latest fad in today’s distracted and information-saturated society, where IMC professionals are being confronted with the challenge of connecting and unifying their communications across channels in reaching the consumer.

The creative juggernaut urges practitioners to approach marketing messages with a story-centric strategy, reaffirming its impact in stimulating and driving human attention as well as increasing the brand’s bottom line.

“New studies have shown that consumers’ retention span is dropping. On an average, a typical consumer sees nothing less than a thousand plus videos in a day. I mean audio in thousands. So the question is, how can we effectively connect with this guy that has fragmented media all around him, especially when you now add the social media, the blogs, and all of that? The only solution to it is storytelling. The ability to tell people difficult things is in a simple story-like format, and I believe that Africans can only be best in storytelling,” he said.

The branding enthusiast also explained that brands need to dive into consumers’ emotions and interact with them at an extensive level like never before through a thought-provoking tale and music to capture their attention.

“I think storytelling is our first endowment; we should tell stories more than the whites because while growing up, we had this storytelling culture more as an inheritance that we got from our fathers and mothers.

“Locally, of course, we have seen the maturity and the globalisation of our music. Nigerian music is the pride of the world right now. In terms of equity, by 2025, our music equity will be worth billions of dollars. Afrobeats specifically is now the global pride played across the big broad street of the big clubs in the world. They have accepted our music; same thing with Nollywood, maybe not at the same pace, but I think they are also trying,” he said.

The agency boss also maintained that the art of storytelling will eliminate boredom and monotony in campaign messages among the audience and, therefore, urged his colleagues in the industry to re-embrace the art.

He noted that the advertising industry is gradually evolving at a remarkable pace but called on practitioners to complement the growth by integrating industry platforms such as Nollywood and music into its fold for greater impact.


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