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    Why Creative Bravery is the New Price of Entry for Brands Why Creative Bravery is the New Price of Entry for Brands

    2/22/18

    By Rob Lenois | February 22, 2018

    Even for someone like me who’s worked in creative fields for a long time, I arrived at my first Sundance Film Festival with some skepticism. Our industry talks about “brand storytelling” like it’s the solution to every problem. And to be honest, I wasn’t excited about the prospect of four days discussing an overused buzzword.  

    But the experience of building six-second films for Sundance and the incredible inspiration from storytellers of all backgrounds actually re-opened my mind to the role of story, and what’s required to craft a good one. Looking back, I understand why Sundance is an industry petri dish for creative experimentation, new storytelling technologies, and conversations with creative minds.

    Today, bravery isn’t optional. It’s the price of entry for brands as people’s expectations rise and attention becomes harder to capture.
    On a more personal level, I’m left with the conviction that as marketers, we only stay culturally relevant through creative bravery. Today, bravery isn’t optional. It’s the price of entry for brands as people’s expectations rise and attention becomes harder to capture.

    Bravery is the only path to attention

    Big studios and Hollywood elites used to decide which stories were shared with the general public. Today, festivals like Sundance welcome outsiders and independent voices, celebrating the brave evolution and democratization of creative storytelling. It’s how a feature-length film starring George Clooney can stand next to indie films, new technologies, web series, and even six-second ads, all within one festival.

    I was treated to an intimate portrait of a great artist in Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind, and witnessed the next wave of riveting storytelling at the premier of the six-second YouTube stories that reimagined classic fairy tales. I experienced immersive AR, VR, and AI stories, and was lucky to join an incredibly inspirational dinner hosted by Benjamin, the first AI screenwriter. Everything at the dinner was AI-generated, from the menus to the music, to a spontaneous live theatrical performance. It was beautifully choreographed and the dinner guests came away with a fresh perspective along with new questions about what’s possible.

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