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Ad Club NY Breakfast Panel: ‘Timing and relevance are everything when it comes to brand storytelling’


By Nesh Pillay, Reporter

May 6, 2015 | 3 min read

The Ad Club of New York hosted a breakfast panel this morning and panelists agreed that when it comes to brand storytelling, timing is key.

The panel included Joe Maceda managing director of Mindshare's Invention Studio, Caleb Hunt, managing director of global branding for Citigroup, Lisa LaCour, Outbrain's vice president of global marketing, and Michael Paradiso, creative services director for CA Technologies.

Citigroup’s Hunt began by posing a question stating that he believed all marketers should ask themselves; “I think the core question we’re all asking is if through all those channels, if you’re coherently constructing a narrative that’s building an identity...When are the times that you have a commission to sell something?"

He added that out of basic human politeness, and for the sake of effectiveness, consumers should not be constantly bombarded with content. Rather, he said, it’s important that a brand builds an identity and cultivates relationships first.

He used his own market as an example; “People are open to buying credit cards or are actually considering buying credit cards for up to two weeks on a three to four year rotational cycle,” he said. “If you can identify when that right time is and deliver that product then, you’ll see massive efficiency. Hopefully in that passive stage in between, you’ve built up that brand image that’s going to put you up for consideration.”

Maceda agreed, but continued by claiming that in order to be effective a brand also needed to know its role in the current trends.

He cited a recent Youtube statistic that in 2014 users streamed 1.4 million hours of connected car content.

“If you’re a car brand and you have a connected car, but you didn’t play any part in that 1.4 million hours,” he said, “you missed out on a big chunk of that consumer journey.”

He added that it was important for brands to plan for cyclical occurrences, like the user desire to buy a credit card, but to also be aware of and prepared for less predictable events.

“There are things that are not necessarily on the calendar, but we know are going to happen at some point across the year,” he said. “We know that there’s going to be a crazy diet craze, we know there’s going to be a celebrity break-up or a celebrity baby.”

Ultimately, the panel agreed that brands and marketers must find connection points that allow brands to tell stories within the environment that people are talking about.

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