Playful storyteller: Glenn Gillis

He’s a business science graduate with a background in marketing and a deep-seated passion for telling stories.

What does your company actually do?

Sea Monster Entertainment is an animation, gaming and augmented reality app company.

Our core skill is storytelling, specifically within digital media: through animated TV series, explainers for corporates and NGOs, interactive games and apps.

We are passionate about communicating stories in a fun, visual way.

What are the latest buzzwords in the marketing and digital fields?

There are two fundamental trends at the moment: content marketing and augmented reality (AR).

We have always created content, and we’re loving the shift away from a siloed approach to marketing (above the line, digital, etc) to one that puts the story at its centre.

AR is not about the technology as much as it is about the way the technology creates engaging experiences for brands, learning and gaming.

Why do you think content marketing has a future in South Africa?

Africa has a rich heritage of storytelling, and stories remain the best way to cut across cultures, literacy levels and languages. In addition, the growth of cellphone ownership means people will have more access and choice to stories than ever before.

What does augmented reality mean?

Augmented reality is a live, direct view of the physical, real world, which is ‘augmented’ by adding sound, video, animation or GPS data.

It differs from virtual reality, which replaces the real world with a simulated one. AR has gained momentum with the evolution and expansion of smart devices.

And how can it be implemented?

Built-in cameras transform cellphones and tablets into mobile windows into the augmented world.

After downloading an app onto a device, the camera is then used to augment a live picture with computer-generated images, animation, games or information.

Suddenly the digital world and the real world overlap and experiences are much more contextual and engaging.

Play around with the cover of the World Class supplement, in this week’s City Press, to see what I mean.

What keeps you motivated?

A passion for what I do, and knowing that as a team we can accomplish more together than we do alone.

Advice to youngsters entering the field

It’s both much harder and much easier than you imagine. Harder because just getting your foot in the door can be tough.

It’s also easier than you might think because being polite, inquisitive and punctual are sometimes all it takes.

The tools of the trade are open to everyone and are often free.

Three business books I’ve found useful

1 The Art of Game Design by Jesse Schell

2 Getting More by Stuart Diamond

3 Mad magazine

» Get your copy of iMag in City Press on Sundays.

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