Digital Storytelling Essya Example

Social media relates to interactive internet applications founded on Web 2.0 technology (Kaplan, 2010). They have become an in-demand communication vehicle between companies and consumers (ibid). As a result, the Female Lead must acknowledge that consumers' brand experiences now depend on relationships over products (Pera and Viglia, 2016). 

Digital storytelling reinforces this dialogue between brands and consumers. It designates a 'narrative material that reaches its audience via digital technology and media' (Miller, 2012, p. 4). By enabling so, the audience can actively interact with the shared content (ibid). In fact, ads that incorporate storytelling prompt higher narrative transportation (Dessart, 2018). Consequently, companies experience increased ‘brand awareness, comprehension, empathy, recognition, recall and provides meaning' (Singh & Sonnenburg, 2012, p. 189). To achieve these corporate outcomes, narrated stories must integrate a message, conflict, character, and a plot (Kaliszweski, p.9). Firstly, stories must present underlying lessons. These confer a message to the receiver (ibid). Companies send messages to consumers through their 'core story and values' (Blaziceck). Secondly, the conflict solicits the story’s development. Indeed, individuals seek stability; hence conflict incentivises the receiver to act upon it (Blaziceck). Thirdly, the recipient must identify with the story’s characters to emotionally connect with the brand (Fog et al., 44). Fourthly, the plot must evolve three stages: the scene's settlement, a change prompted by a conflict and conflict resolution (ibid). Overall, traditional storytelling determines successful digital storytelling. The Female Lead is encouraged to consider this marketing practice to guide companies towards efficacious female empowerment messages.

Amongst its various uses, digital storytelling is paramount in brand activism. It permits companies to declare their social positions to consumers in a persuasive manner (Dassart, 2018). Brand activism refers to a 'purpose and values-driven communication around an activist stance on socio-political issues' (Vendreburg et al., 2020, p.9). Then, companies adjust their practices to the pursued stance. Indeed, companies must align their purpose, values, messages and action.  If not, they suffer from wake washing (ibid). Contrarily, when brand activism is authentic, companies derive favourable brand impressions and brand equity (ibid). Brand equity illustrates a core element of brand identity. Remarkably, it is the distinct impact that brand awareness has on consumers' reaction to brand advertising (Keller, 1991). 

According to the Brand Equity Model, five assets build brand equity. These encompass brand loyalty, awareness, associations and perceived quality (Aker, 1991). Loyalty denotes the consumer's attachment with the brand (ibid). When brands possess committed consumers, they achieve greater brand awareness. The latter symbolises the ease with which one recognises the brand. The higher the brand awareness is, the more likely consumers are to form brand associations. Indeed, companies want consumers to develop favourable attitudes toward the brand (ibid). This is also promoted by perceived quality. It ensures differentiation from other brands. Overall, companies that perform authentic brand activism distinguish themselves in consumers' eyes. 

A developing marketing practice within brand activism is fem-advertising. The latter illustrates 'advertising that employs pro-female talent, messages, and imagery to empower women and girls' (SheKnows Media, 2015). Female audiences acknowledge fem-advertising for featuring empowered instead of objectified women portrayals (Abitbol, 2016). For fem-advertising campaigns to be successful, they must exhibit female abilities. Further, their messages must be supportive of females. Indeed, campaigns must counteract stereotypes and societal expectations that limit women (Becker-Herby, 2016). Besides female audiences, also companies benefit from fem-advertising. They gain a positive brand attitude and experience higher purchase intentions (Drake, 2017, p.597). 

Overall, concepts of digital storytelling, brand activism, brand equity and fem-advertising contribute to successful company female empowerment.