Why Jerrid Grimm is on a mission to kill the banner ad
Pressboard co-founder seeks a marketing revolution through storytelling
In January 2014, Jerrid Grimm (Marketing ’00) approached what, for most people, would be a breaking point.
He and his wife were about to have their second child and he’d just secured a mortgage on a home in North Vancouver (where median prices were more than $1 million). On top of that, he was feeling the itch to make the jump from full-time, steady employment to the uncertainty of entrepreneurship.
Grimm wasn’t about to let any of that frighten him. For years, he’d been convinced his industry was flawed. A gap had emerged between clients and consumers – a gap he believed he knew how to close. So Grimm scratched the itch. Within four months, he’d quit his advertising job and partnered with a software architect named Tiam Korki to launch Pressboard, a high-tech solution based on an age-old tradition: storytelling.
It’s true that advertisers had already adopted storytelling, or content marketing, as a tool to target audiences – but it wasn’t being done the way Pressboard wanted to do it. The company would set itself apart as a content marketing platform that would help clients spread their own “long-form” messages quickly, painlessly and effectively. All they had to do was build an entire web-based platform from scratch ...
* * *
To tell Grimm's story, we decided to try something different when we ran in it the final issue of techlife in print. We took it apart and told it as nine separate stories, each one meant to stand alone in the same way that Grimm's company might place a brand's story on another media site. To reflect that online, we created another site entirely, where we set up each section of our story as its own page, giving readers the chance to consume it however they like, picking out the parts that appeal to them most, in whatever order they want.
Does it work? Is it the future of storytelling the way that Grimm is trying to usher in the future of marketing? We don't know. But we thought it was fun. Maybe you will too.