Experience instead of telling – that is the goal of storyliving. But is it just another trend term in the storytelling universe or can storyliving improve your marketing? Find out what makes storyliving so special and how you can implement it.

Storyliving – a definition

Storytelling , storydoing , storyscaping and now storyliving? You could almost think that every new marketing trend needs a “story”. However, if you take a closer look, it makes sense that storyliving is or seems to be the new hot shit. Because story living appeals to the changing consumer behavior, especially of the younger target group, and does not shy away from experimenting with new forms of implementation. The key points of the storyliving approach are:

  • Stories should not just be told, they should be made tangible – away from the narrative structure and towards “drama”.
  • Storyliving is supposed to promote the dialogue between brand and consumer.
  • Implementation forms: Focus on Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR)

Storyliving is part of a larger trend: Experiential Marketing, also known as Engagement Marketing. This marketing strategy aims to ensure that consumers actively come into contact with the brand and experience it.

Storyliving focuses on virtual reality and augmented reality. At the beginning of 2017, Google Zoo published an ethnographic study entitled “Storyliving” in cooperation with Google Newslab . The study examined how an audience experiences virtual reality, with the question of what it means for journalism. Although this study did not give birth to the concept of “storyliving”, it made it known to a wider public and defined the term.

Trend Experiential Marketing

Participating instead of just watching – that is the motto of Experiential Marketing, which is also known as Engagement Marketing. The aim is for customers to experience their own brand and help shape it (engage). This should improve customer loyalty. It should also have a positive effect on peer-to-peer marketing, because experiences are more likely to be shared with others than disdainful advertising messages.
Experiential marketing, and with it story living, are also an answer to a growing problem for marketers: Consumers are littered with classic marketing messages.
Some studies show that the average consumer is exposed to around 10,000 brand messages per day. The target group of millennials (born between 1980 and 1996) is driving the “ experience economy ”. As a study by Eventbrite shows, for this generation, experiences mean more than ownership. The trend is represented even more strongly by the next generation, the Gen Z (born between 1995 and 2010). According to Millennial Marketing , six out of ten Generation Z consumers prefer to spend their money on experiences rather than material things.

Storyliving vs. storytelling vs. storydoing

One story – three approaches. But what is the difference between storyliving and classic storytelling and storydoing ?

The first question that sheds light on the confusion of definitions: Could storyliving and storydoing exist without storytelling? No, because the storytelling method is the basis for storydoing and storyliving. How storydoing differs from classic storytelling, I’ll show you in my article on storydoing vs. storytelling: Just do it! .

Storydoing and storyliving are storytelling approaches that are designed for interaction and use a certain type of implementation. The biggest difference is that story living relies even more on experiencing, so that consumers experience the story themselves within the story. Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality have established themselves as forms of implementation .

Examples of story living

Storyliving is not only virtual, but in journalism or marketing the concept of storyliving is usually mentioned in the same breath as VR and AR. As the following examples show, the virtual reality lid fits on the storyliving pot.

Step to the line

Bringing life behind bars to life – that’s what the 360-degree film by Brazilian filmmaker Ricardo Laganaro does, which shows the work of the non-profit organization Defy Ventures . The organization’s vision has one goal: to prepare prisoners for the time after prison so that they do not become delinquent again.

Art of Patrón

You have to experience our manufacturing process – that’s what the Patrón Tequila marketing team thought. The result of this idea is “The Art of Patrón” – a VR trip to the land of tequila production.

Happy goggles

After Ikea, the next innovation of the northern lights: Swedish Happy Meals from McDonalds are in short VR glasses. The campaign took place across Sweden in March 2016. The time period was not chosen by chance, as it fell during the holiday season, when Swedish families traditionally go on skiing holidays. To this end, McDonalds published the mobile phone game “Slope Stars”, which is about safety on the slopes, and delivered the VR glasses with a clear recycling conscience.

Foresta Lumina

Real instead of virtual. Even if story living and virtual reality are a good team, story living also works without VR glasses. A good example is the multi-sensory installation in the Canadian Parc de la Gorge de Coaticook. The aim of the installation was to inspire more people to visit the forest. Although the story can only be experienced in analogue on site, the project can be made accessible to a wider public with digital content such as the following video.

How To – how to implement storyliving?

Multi-sensory installations or professionally produced 360-degree videos – everything looks great, of course, but it also has its price. Another storyliving damper: Are AR and VR really used or do we still not get out of the “media workers-think-it-great, -consumers-don’t-want-to-do it” phase?

So is storyliving just a hyped concept that cannot be easily implemented? Yes and no. Because storyliving is a reaction to the changing demands of consumers, especially younger ones. However, it is questionable whether virtual reality and augmented reality will remain the appropriate forms of implementation. But what cannot be dismissed out of hand: experiencing is becoming more important. Whether VR productions or non-virtual campaigns, story living can be implemented on a large and small scale.

Include target group

Story living focuses on experiencing a story. When it comes to consumer goods, it is usually easier to find out what the target group needs. Experiences, on the other hand, are very personal. Where it is sufficient to create a brand story with classic storytelling, which can stand for itself and is passively consumed by the target group, the consumers move even more into focus with story living.

Before every story living project, you should therefore first address your target group and check them out, for example via social media surveys or the like. What are they interested in about your brand? Which experiences are particularly formative? Where would you like to take a look behind the scenes? Even including your consumers in the storyliving design is a building block of storyliving. Because in this way they become part of the brand history and can actively participate.

The experiences of consumers can then also be used as a storytelling basis based on the example of customer stories and implemented in the form of story living.

How can I implement storyliving without VR?

VR and AR are the preferred forms of storyliving, but you can design the format differently with a little creativity:

  • Classically text-based: make the reader the protagonist and let him or her decide, similar to some classic children’s books à la “The Island of 1000 Dangers”, in which the reader controls the story.
  • Videos without a 360-degree view that are filmed from a first-person perspective.
  • Similar to storydoing: Actions like the YSL BEAUTY EXPERIENCE , which take place offline and are used for other online marketing campaigns (keyword Phigital )

How can I use VR?

Do you want to dare to try virtual reality and augmented reality and thus implement your story living ideas? Then you will quickly be confronted with a challenge: the more storyliving perfection, the fewer people (currently) have access to the technology.

The VR gimmicks start with the basics, head tracking, which simple 360-degree videos can already use these days. In order to watch these videos, the consumer needs internet access and ideally VR glasses, but these are not necessary. 360-degree videos are supported by the major platforms such as Vimeo, YouTube and Facebook.

One only speaks of “True VR”, however, when there are additional technical gadgets that make it possible for interaction to increase, such as real-time rendering, control of movement and control of position. To produce this content, however, a lot of budget is required and very few consumers can access the content due to the lack of VR devices.

Conclusion: If you want to (currently) implement story living with VR or AR, then 360-degree videos are the best option for you.

The following video explains the challenges of VR productions for story living very well (in English):

What do I have to pay attention to when implementing VR?

Where a good story is sufficient in storytelling, the challenge of story living with VR implementation is to make the story interactive. You should pay attention to the following points during implementation:

  • Emotions vs. linear story: a story living story cannot be “told” in the same way as a text-based story. Where words count in classic text-based storytelling, the following applies in story living: the less is said, the better. However, you also have to be ready to embark on an experiment, because the brand can no longer control how the consumer deals with the story.
  • Don’t forget audio: Invest your time and resources not only in the visual, but also in the audio quality, as Mona Lalwani from engadget explains in detail in the following article.
  • Avoid motion sickness: Don’t jump into your 360-degree video too quickly and don’t confuse the user with many changes of perspective. How to get started, with a short break at the beginning, is shown in the short film Pearl by Google Spotlight Studios, which was awarded a Creative Arts Emmy and was nominated for an Oscar.

VR and budget: How can I implement it “cost-effectively”?

VR campaigns can be expensive and not all consumers have the right equipment ready. The following sources can help you with implementation and dissemination or simply serve as inspiration:

Creating Content – How To:

Content creation tools:

Into story living

Whether as a 360-degree video or with other forms of implementation, storyliving shows ways in which storytelling can be experienced. A trend that will probably develop further in the future, because it is no longer experienced through consumption alone, but only through experience paves the way to consumption. Are you interested in story living? Our storytelling team will be happy to advise you on this .

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