In April, San Francisco-based Protagonist launched an AI-powered platform that looked at online articles and comments to find the “underlying beliefs and motivations of consumers.”
These messaging narratives were then made available to inform a client brand’s marketing strategy. Protagonist defines narratives as “deeply held beliefs that drive human behavior.”
The company’s technology was originally employed for initiatives from the White House and the National Security Council, like finding narratives driving terrorism. It was adapted by Protagonist to find insights in social media, magazines and newspapers, blogs and other sources of online opinion and conversation. Protagonist staff specialists then developed those insights into brand narratives for such clients as Microsoft, General Mills, Warner Brothers, Wells Fargo and Starbucks.
This week, Protagonist is moving beyond identifying brand narratives by adding tools that enable action.
“Before we gave them a map,” CEO Doug Randall told me. “Now, it’s a map and instructions.”