Have we lost the art of plain speaking? Samsung’s Chief Marketing Officer, YoungHee Lee told the audience at Cannes that to connect with GenZ it was important to harness the power of ‘Storyliving’ over storytelling. Twitter pretty universally responded WTF? I know this was at an advertising festival that has history in the championing of made up words. But as many have pointed out since, in the real world it's laughable. It’s the type of lexicon bingo that has so devalued our industry.
Our job fundamentally is to inform people of the advantage of our client’s brand. We do this in as clearly and emotively engaging manner as possible. The simplicity and clarity of a few words to describe the complex.
It’s not just the stereotyping of generations that so offends in this Tweet, it’s the meaningless re-labelling of observed behaviour. There are good points made in YoungHee Lee’s talk. Brands do need to live the version of life they portrayed in their advertising. People are seeking proof of a brands stated intentions. But for so many, all these good points will be lost by the scrambling of verbs.
Cannes is an international event aiming to foster better work across the world. Its stated mission of fostering understanding and better communications. So, I have an idea. A new award. The Plain Lion. Awarded to the speaker with courage and commitment to deliver their thoughts in the most succinct, clear and easily understood manner. In this age of misunderstandings and alternative facts. Surely now more than ever, we need a Plain-Speaking Lion to celebrate those who can communicate with a universal language of clarity.