“Creativity is increasingly perceived as a strategic driver for economic growth and a real asset for improving competitiveness in a knowledge-based economy. The Creative Industries are knowledge and labour intensive and foster innovation, so the sector is perceived to have a huge but largely untapped potential for generation of employment and export expansion (CIGN, 2015).” Not surprisingly, the creative industry is recognized as a high growth sector in the EU and its member states.
Over the last decade, the EU authorised a number of studies to analyse the European economy and the creative industries in particular, especially its competitiveness and prospects to respond to recent structural and technological challenges in an open market context (CIGN, 2015). One of the major conclusions is that advances in technology, new business models, communications strategies, and consumer needs changed the sector and the manner agencies run their businesses today.
The media world, including the audiovisual one, and especially the production of commercials clearly is in a process of vertiginous change that involves the use of new technologies and especially new ways of telling stories.
As a marketing tactic, storytelling is based on the premise that people remember information better when it is told as a story rather than presented as a list of facts because it involves the audience in the process by engaging their brains at multiple levels. This is largely because stories are more relatable and inspire an emotional reaction in an audience. Any marketing campaign that rouses an emotional response – whether it be empathy, sympathy, outrage or laughter – is more likely to be remembered (www.zideate.com). It makes consumers more receptive to marketing efforts than through encouraging them to buy a product or service.
Storytelling is increasingly recognized as a key discipline and activity to bring ideas to the market and to build customer loyalty. As a result, both new media storytelling and new media advertising (e.g., mobile advertising, leveraging social media, creating viral videos) have become an inclusive part of a new marketing strategy, presently barely covered by the existing curricula in many schools. The way of storytelling in commercials, how they are produced and distributed with all the technical possibilities the sector provides, evolved profoundly to meet changing consumers preferences and needs.
Training new functional profiles, specialized in developing advertisement for use in interactive and online audiovisual media, will therefore sit at the heart of this project. Schools of different educational levels, dedicated to train media professionals, are facing the challenge of dealing with this market transformation and prepare students to become successful employees or entrepreneurs in the new market.
Through the exchange of good practices, the main goal of the project is to improve existing curricula to include the techniques of storytelling. For this purpose the project partners will develop two toolboxes to professionalize and trigger students and educators (RIGA communiqué) , to meet the following strategic objectives, recommended in the Strategic Framework ET 2020 to member states:
– improving the quality and efficiency of education and training;
– making lifelong learning and mobility a reality;
– enhancing creativity and innovation, including entrepreneurship, at all levels of education and training.
Concerning entrepreneurship, the idiosyncrasy of the highly fragmented audiovisual labour market specifically, requires professionals with a transversal training to strengthen their entrepreneurial capacity and improve employability (http://www.creativeskillseurope.eu/trends-in-europe).
Therefore, a second major goal of the project aims to provide guidelines and resources to increase the skills of entrepreneurship. It will integrate accelerator programs and boot camps in the program and encourage entrepreneurial students to explore and develop their talents individually and in a team of peers. By doing so, the project will provide a safe, but catalytic learning environment for participants, in line with actions proposed by the ‘Entrepreneurship 2020 Action Plan’ (http://ec.europa.eu/growth/smes/promoting-entrepreneurship/action-plan/index_en.htm).