Google’s Schmidt to the largest advertisers: “new forms of storytelling” will empower brands

The late preeminent communications scholar George Gerbner often explained that society needed to be concerned about who had the power to tell its stories. To set the values and the identity of the culture. Gerbner was especially concerned about television. Today, he would be focused on the emerging digital medium. That’s why we were struck by Google CEO Eric Schmidt’s address yesterday to the American Association of Advertising Agencies (AAAA) conference. According to a story in today’s New York Times [sub required] Schmidt explained that:

digital media will “create new opportunities for advertisers and new opportunities for information.” He added, “The scale of this is underappreciated.” The opportunities will come in the form of “developing new forms of storytelling”…

AAAA, of course, represents the leading global ad agencies. The stories they will tell for their clients will overflow our mobile devices, web browsers, and digital televisions. Content, communications, and commerce are fully intertwined in the new medium, it’s true. But advertisers–including Google–need to more than tread carefully here. These stories will have a tremendous influence on society–and social responsibility is required. But we will also need new governmental rules which address the `product placement is the news and entertainment we receive’ conundrum.

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1 thought on “Google’s Schmidt to the largest advertisers: “new forms of storytelling” will empower brands”

  1. In many ways, I think Google already is telling stories, in how they select and place news stories on the news page, how and whether they recognize certain holidays or anniversaries on the main search page, not to mention what might be facts or stories about themselves and their plans, depending on your point of view. As we careen towards an ad environment predicted “Minority Report,” I wonder if our perceptions, our world views, will be determined by the stories others select for us based on their interpretation of our behaviors. Maybe we all have enough echo chambers as it is.

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