Five Key Takeaways From CIC Conference Toronto

Did you know Hyundai makes its own steel? That’s nice to know, but how do they create compelling content that will help them ultimately sell more cars? At media conference Content Industry Connect (CIC) Toronto, producers, broadcasters, distributors and executives across film, television, advertising, and digital media learned about the power of engaging audiences with emotional storytelling.

Here are the five things I learned:

How do you create an engaging story about something as inanimate as steel? Use storytelling.

Chitra Anand, Head of Public Relations, Communications & Corporate Reputation at Microsoft Canada, says that their challenge is taking the bits and bites of the technology world and creating a compelling story for those who don’t necessarily understand the products they are selling. Instead of focusing on creating product stories like they have in the past, Microsoft examines the socioeconomic experiences of its target audience and create targeted content that fits them.

Just because they’ve got celebrity status here, doesn’t mean they do everywhere.

Poverty-focused NGO Global Citizen worked on a campaign with Stephen Colbert encouraging the government of Denmark to take action. The campaign did really well in the US, Canada and Denmark, but when the campaign was brought to the UK, it tanked.

Dominic Mishio, Canadian Director of Global Citizen uses this to remind us that not all content works in every geographic location. Content needs to be tailored and unique depending on the target audience.

Apparently Disney agrees. In their recent film Zootopia, Disney used different animals for the same character depending on the location the film was distributed.

New product? Insert yourself into an existing community.

Microsoft is an iconic software brand, but when they created the Surface Pro 4, instead of pushing their hardware into the community that already loved their software, they pushed themselves into a new community through Toronto Fashion Week.

By allowing attendees to use the Surface Pro 4 to create a customized artisan bow tie, Microsoft showcased the product value for creatives and designers. Not to mention that Toronto Fashion Week is saturated with the top influencers in the fashion blogger and media community, allowing them first access to this new use of their technology.

CIC conference toronto
John Morayniss CEO, Entertainment One Television interviews Doug Murphy President and CEO, Corus Entertainment and Mary Ann Turcke President, Bell Media.

Multi-platform opportunities are keeping the media industry afloat.

Doug Murphy, President and CEO of Corus Entertainment and Mary Ann Turcke, President of Bell Media want us to know that the media industry is not in as deep of waters as the press is making it out to be.

Technology is changing how media is distributed, but Turcke sees that as an opportunity rather than a challenge. The focus needs to be on how to grow your audience and reach. It is not about one medium or another, but how everything fits together across multiple platforms.

With Bell Media’s HBO launch of music television show Vinyl, and Corus Entertainment’s launch of Corus Live, both companies are expanding their platforms and integrating more into their marketing mix.

CraveTV and Letterkenny know what their audience wants.

They know their audience loves to binge watch with a bag of candy or chips by their side (and they made sure the CIC Toronto audience had plenty to indulge in themselves) CraveTV (Bell’s version of Netflix) knows what Canadians want: relatable television.

CraveTV also knows the benefits of multi-platform content, capitalizing on the YouTube success of Letterkenny prior to the release of their full-length episodes on CraveTV in February. Letterkenny fans were already looking for content on YouTube, so they continued to post sketches from the show online in order to draw them to a free trial of CraveTV to watch all six episodes from the first season.

About Victoria Stacey

Victoria is the Marketing & Design Specialist at Dx3. She spends her days fiddling around in Adobe Suite, Wordpress & MailChimp. In the outside world, she volunteers for a non-profit, Young Women in Business, and various other events throughout the city.

» View all posts by Victoria Stacey

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