A story told in three parts
Stories entertain us, inform us and connect us. They speak to us through a universal language understood the world over. Stories are interwoven throughout our lives
in almost every context. We interpret the nature of reality through stories —
the stories we tell each other, the stories we tell ourselves.
Stories have the ability to chain us down or the potential to set us free. Stories have power. Stories have the capacity to inspire and to make us feel. This feeling can empower action... action that ignites change and fuels innovation.
These are the stories of purpose that Incubate seeks out.
To identify and present these meaningful narratives, a mechanism needed
imagining — the Incubate Story Engine. Below is the tale of how it came to be and the external forces that set the stage, leading to a novel opportunity in storytelling.
Technology has transformed how we consume stories
Content choice overwhelms
Leading to the decline of the traditional commercial model
As streaming platforms dominate
Attention spans diminish
Within chaos lies opportunity.
This paradigm shift has created something of an existential crisis for brands, forcing them to experiment with new models. One such model is brand-supported content. Unlike branded content, brand-supported content is not product integration. This approach is more about a brand supporting and aligning with stories that imbue a brand's identity, ethos and culture.
There are several paths to getting stories told and many formats in which to express them. The brand-supported model is simply one alternative to the more traditional approach. It is just one tool in Incubate's arsenal for realizing stories and a resource for which the company has real-world experience. Enter Lexus Short Films.
Lexus Short Films
In 2012, Lexus in partnership with The Weinstein Company launched Lexus Short Films.
This global initiative sought out fresh voices and stories with the goal of supporting a new generation of filmmakers. A notable difference from similar programs was the absence of a mandate to use Lexus vehicles in the films.
Horvitz was brought in to develop, produce and spearhead this groundbreaking program.
Running over six years and four seasons, Lexus Short Films was a huge success and became a model for brand-supported content. In its fourth season the program received over 6000 short film submissions from 175 countries.
With only a handful of filmmakers selected per season, each submission was used to gauge talent, skill and ability, requiring thousands of short films to be screened and evaluated within
a short period.
To optimize the selection process and ultimately produce the original slate of Lexus films, a unique framework was built from the ground up.
Global Marketing Campaign
It is this same powerful system that is now the Incubate Story Engine.
With eight billion people currently living on our planet, it's hard to imagine the sheer number of untold stories out there. Not to mention the infinite stories of the past and yet-to-be-revealed future. And when adding the advancement of technology to the mix, that number jumps exponentially.
This explosion of technology over the past two decades has leveled the playing field, opening the door for all to create.
Its ubiquitous availability, creative tools, and organic shareability have accelerated the abundance of stories available and possible.
Within this vast ocean of narrative lie pearls of wonder and wisdom yearning to be found.
Human Curation has never been so essential.
When seeking out a specific type of story, it only makes sense to collaborate with like-minded individuals with similar intentions.
Baked into Incubate's DNA is a handpicked global network of curators — a group of seasoned creatives sharing an eye for talent, a passion for storytelling, and a vision for a better tomorrow.
As humanity navigates a series of obstacles and adversity...
Story becomes all that more important.
Incubate affirms that stories of purpose have the power to inspire, heal and transform. And while Story may take many forms, it is Incubate's mission to serve as a beacon of light, shining hope and possibility into the darkness, to emerge as a platform of purpose.
We are living in uncertain times. Our planet is facing a myriad of challenges, trials and tribulations — some catastrophic in nature. When the pandemic arrived, it simply added another layer of pressure, inflaming an already intense reality.
The pandemic also crystallized the need for change. It triggered and fast-tracked a growing movement of intentional people and organizations. Moreover, this crisis brought about an opportunity to reset and evolve toward a better tomorrow.
This pressure cooker of conflict has birthed an abundance of purposeful stories from creators far and wide, directly influencing the global demand for meaningful content.
Stories, Stories, Everywhere!
People want to be informed and educated, at the same time entertained. Global citizens understand the importance of this moment and seek out the stories that reflect this sentiment — the importance of interconnectedness and the responsibility to save our home, not only for each other but for generations to follow.
Streamers, studios and distributors have taken note and are investing heavily into this much-needed genre of content.
Brands are experiencing a collective wake-up call, realizing the world has changed. No longer can they sit on the sidelines of important issues facing humanity. Perhaps in the past one would not associate brands with meaningful content. Flashforward to present day, the media landscape has shifted, and agendas have intersected. Now more than ever, meaningful content can translate into a sustainable business model. Inspiring campaigns spanning all media and formats are possible and happening.
This confluence of events and conditions has ushered in a fresh wave of creators, stories and possibility.