Author Junot Diaz on Great Storytelling
Advertising is first and foremost about storytelling. Creatives, copywriters, designers and even account managers, work together to make sure they are developing the right story for the right brand that will engage the right audience.
Pulitzer Prize-winning author Junot Diaz, whose novel The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, spans three generations of a Dominican family, knows from good storytelling. So multicultural marketing agency Wing invited him to sit down with their VP Head of Strategy, Andrew Speyer, to share his view on how to better engage Latinos, who now represent one in six Americans. The talk is part of an ongoing initiative at Wing to foster creative dialogue with artists and storytellers.
Diaz’s advice: embrace simultaneity. Too often we try to narrow people down to fit them in one category – part of what Diaz calls our society of atomization. But the U.S Hispanic population in particular is simultaneously in the past and present — connected to multiple cultures and even languages.
Another piece of advice from the prolific writer: if you want to get anything done in the digital age, you have to completely unplug. Diaz himself breaks out into a cold sweat when he turns off his iPhone – he quipped that unless you’re the President no one needs to reach you that urgently. But doing so is the only way he can get space for reflection and real productivity.