Not Just for Bedtime, Marketers Corner the Market on Storytelling

http://www.forbes.com/sites/philjohnson/2012/06/27/marketers-corner-the-market-on-storytelling/

“Advertising has also embraced the power of stories, whether they’re implied, like the heroism in a Nike ad, or more literal like the newest DIRECTV ads with their quirky logic of what happens to your life when you don’t get rid of cable.”

“In an environment where you don’t stand a chance to win anybody’s attention without some magic, a good story might save you and your brand from oblivion.”

“A bad story can be as deadly as an overloaded PowerPoint presentation.”

“He said that a good story is an end in itself. Whether or not it helps define a brand, sell a product, or make a point, a story must stand on its own. If it only exists to thinly disguise a marketing message, you’re not fooling anybody.”

3 suggestions:

  • If your story does not reveal something personal and unknown about the person or brand, it’s going to be boring.
  • If your story does not tap into a specific emotion – whether it be fear, desire, anger, or happiness – it will not move people to action.
  • If your story does not take people on a journey where there is a transformation between the beginning, middle, and the end, it’s not a story.

“The best stories represent a simplicity of purpose and tap into the audience’s imagination so that they willingly go along for the journey. And the shortest ones can sometimes be the best. Ernest Hemingway famously wrote the six-word story: “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.””

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