Worldbuilding for advertising

Every month we collaborate with a specialist within our network that writes a guest blog. This month we’ve asked Akis Karamanlis to tell us a bit more about worldbuilding for advertising. Akis is Managing Partner at PHUNK, a creative animation studio.

Worldbuilding is the process of constructing an imaginary world, sometimes associated with a whole fictional universe. The term is commonly used in writing to describe the act of constructing a believable universe. A believable world and characters are the basis of good storytelling. Stories connect us to each other and tell us who we are. Good storytelling is the basis of forming a relationship with clients and customers. For companies telling their story in an engaging and original way allows them to create genuine interest in their products and services.

Storytelling has become a buzzword in the world of advertising and many creatives identify as storytellers. However we believe that the storytelling of most advertising does not compete with that of entertainment. Brands can only dream of the fandom generated by fictional worlds such as Star Wars and Game of Thrones. Characters and mascottes are already often used to give a face to a brand. Giving these characters a world to live in allows brands to continually engage their audience with stories.

People are used to engaging with fictional worlds through entertainment on a daily basis. Building a world around a brand allows them to use the full potential of storytelling. Creating a larger world where stories can be told, allows brands to serialise their content and create ongoing engagement. It also generates recognisability that can be used throughout all forms of communication. With worldbuilding we can move beyond the temporary nature of a single story into a continuously engaging world for audiences to experience brands.

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