Elevate, the industry building retreat for brand storytellers and their partners, kicked off Sunday night with a full showing of the best and brightest in brand-funded content. Brand marketers, agencies, data and media companies gathered at Stein Eriksen Lodge to set in on two full days of case studies, creative plans, and successful campaigns that have shaped the industry of content marketing - but first there were drinks, laughs, and stories told on the Elevate stage.
Elevate Storytelling Competition Winner Wendy Shay (Founder, Highly Confidential) and BrandStorytelling Founder Rick Parkhill
Our Storytelling Winner
This year's storytelling competition, emceed by the director of the Storytellers Brand Studio Megan Finnerty, was centered around “Growing Up: Stories of lessons in life, work and love…” Our storytellers dug deep and delivered some funny, thrilling, and heartfelt personal tales. While all the participants were winners in the eyes of our audience for telling their truth, only one could win a trip to Brand Storytelling’s January Event and Sundance 2019, as well as take home the coveted Elevate trophy. To our winner, Wendy Shay of Highly Confidential, we say congratulations!
Elevate attendees applaud our storytellers during the Elevate Storytelling Competition
Presentations, Trails, Discussions, and Screenings
Elevate kicked off day 1 with a discussion led by David Beebe, joined by Austin Schumacher and Tara Piper, that covered the state of brand storytelling and explored the topography of creating what’s next in creative and content. John Campbell of National Geographic took the stage to discuss pushing the boundaries of storytelling when it comes to branded content by tailoring content to specific social platforms, meeting consumers where they are and speaking to them exactly the way they want to be spoken to. Later in the day, Linda Petta of YouTube spoke on the many current things happening on and at YouTube right now and how brands and marketers can be a part of it.
Brand Storyteller David Beebe Chats with Austin Schumacher (Lyft) and Tara Piper (Coca-Cola)
The first two Elevate “Trails” focused on the subjects of seeking investment and support in the development of brand-funded content. Trail 1, Invest, led by Lewis Henderson, Phil Daniels, Gabe Gordon, Jeremy Leibman, and Marc Battaglia, centered on how to choose what to invest in, how we evaluate content, formats, and medium, and how to evaluate the brand-funded landscape from content types and formats to partners and platforms. Trail 2, Support, led by Glisten McCrary, Mark Book, Eric Levin, and Dave Arnold, tackled how brands are building their internal teams and how they expect those teams to be staffed, as well as taking a look at organizing content, creativity, and the planning and production of such content in the new world of people, platforms and technology. Each trail was followed by small, productive breakout sessions that gave attendees the opportunity to connect with one another on a more personal level.
Lewis Henderson, Jeremy Leibman, Gabe Gordon, Phil Daniels, and Marc Battaglia - Panelists on the "Invest" Trail
As morning gave way to afternoon, guests enjoyed hiking, biking, and meetings with one another on the gorgeous decks of Stein Eriksen Lodge. In addition, This year Brand Storytelling introduced a new facet of the Elevate experience: The Elevate Screening Theater. Attendees came through the theater to watch content on the big screen from Intel, Shaftesbury, Michelin, Spark, Marriott, and Wayfarer. Thanks to our attendees for sharing incredible work!
Elevate Attendees enjoy some sunshine on the deck at Stein Eriksen Lodge