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Daniel Friedl

The Power of the Tale

Letters become words, words become tales, tales become worlds.

Before getting into it, please note: The word “story” is replaced by “tale” as much as possible in the next. There is a reason for that. The “story” lost its magic by being used inflationary in all kinds of contexts. But we need that magic back. We need more fantasy, more mystery. Enter: The tale.

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Thinking about the path I took so far in my “professional” life, I sometimes still find it hard to describe what I actually do. A job in advertising can be quite a ride. But one thing has always been there and has always played a major roll. I think it is the base to all our doing: The written word. It is a small bit of something very important: A tale. Let me tell you why this is so fundamental. Not my words and tales but tales in general.

In 2017 I wrote and directed a short portrait movie about German author Friedemann Karig together with our Content Unit (Shoutout!). Friedemann, who at that point was a so-called inspiration leader for Mercedes Benz EQ, supported the brand in their vision of creating a brighter future.
Unfortunately, Covid19 struck, and we never got to release the final film. But there was a positive message and a plain truth to that project that should still be spread, I think. On set Friedemann mentioned something very interesting that was already important back then and is even more important now: We live in a fantasy, in a utopia. We live in a tale, that was shaped years ago.

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Please remember that mechanism. Because in strange times, like we live in now, the job of an agency employee might seem useless and powerless (spoiler: It is not!). While nurses and doctors still fight for people’s lives in hospitals due to a pandemic, people around the world fight for their countries and better lives and let´s not forget about the climate crisis. There seems to be so many things more important than advertising. And there probably are. But also, there is a bigger picture here, and we play a role in it. Because our actions can make a change if we do it right and if we handle the written word right, to create a tale.

An example: Imagine if 100 years ago someone was told, that at one point there would be TVs, which are so flat, you can just fix them on the wall and if not used, they look like paintings. No one would have believed that. On the one hand, that story probably was very amusing at that time. But on the other hand, and more importantly, that story, that tale was the blueprint for someone to try and actually make it reality. And this is what we need to have in mind: Tales can be a blueprint. They can shape reality.

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And we at Avantgarde are in the business of telling tales. So, we should get to work, since all that we see, feel, hear, taste, smell, the world that we all live in NOW, used to be fiction once, used to be a tale. And in 2022, after having lived in a world where science as a reaction to so many things, planned and unplanned, has played a major role over the last decades, the creators of tales need to pick up the pace. And this is us.

Because we need tales that spread positivity and make people spin their own positive tales.
We need tales that entertain us, even if it is just for a moment, for a break.

And probably the most important:
We need tales, that create a vision of a better future. The world needs those tales, needs those new blueprints for a better future.

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We need to create a vision to work and live towards. So let us all write, design, plan, manage, whatever it is you do inside and maybe outside of Avantgarde, let us all shape those tales with care, with love and with our clients, to do our part of the bigger picture. Let us shape the blueprint, that will lead us into a better future. This is our role in that complex global bubble we live in. And it is an important one.

Add-on: The short portrait of Friedemann is quite motivating and positive. If someone wants to see it, feel free to message or approach me anytime. Maybe we can even share it internally. Unfortunately, we can´t publish it since he is not a brand ambassador of Mercedes Benz EQ anymore.

About the Author
Daniel, officially Senior Conceptor and a part of Creation, flows somewhere between Content Creation, Creation, and many other people at various Avantgarde offices. Next to creating story driven concepts, he also works as a screenwriter and director and is responsible for a variety of Avantgarde´s most recent films and moving image creations. Daniel gained his experience by switching between project management and artist management, copywriting, and concept development, to screenwriting and movie direction.

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