Storytelling is fast becoming a powerful tool for brands to market themselves in the ever-evolving and fast paced digital world. It’s a successful strategy that works by engaging the public with content that catches their attention in an entertaining way, without feeling as if they are being pressured by a sales pitch.
There is a science behind the art of storytelling when utilizing it in within the marketing world. As detailed by Forbes, making sure you “don’t give it all away” is key. As well as maintaining a strong story structure like all works of fiction.
It is equally important when using storytelling to relay a brand’s unique personality, use relatable characters, and of course, brand transparency. A solid and engaging story will gain a brand notice, create a solid and positive brand perception and open up conversations across any and all platforms, as well as empathy for your audience, as pointed out by Marcus Fischer, Carmichael Lynch’s President and Chief Strategy Officer. “Storytelling isn’t a marketing construct. It is a human construct. It is the way information has been shared since the beginning of time. The trick is to make your story more interesting than the other guy’s. We believe the best storytelling comes only when you have empathy for your audience.”
“Think about it, your favorite stories are the ones that connect with you. The same holds true for marketing. What can be difficult, but very necessary, is that not everyone will like your story. In fact, it’s best if not everyone does. If you’ve created something for everyone, it is likely very vanilla, and while it won’t offend anyone, it also likely won’t connect with anyone very much either.”
Here are 5 brands that successfully use storytelling and get it right!
One of Apple’s fortes in the marketing arena is knowing how to use the power of celebrity. The technology giant recently dropped a new commercial featuring rising star, The Weeknd, and veteran actor John Travolta. In the first of a two part clip, The Weeknd is seen using the brand’s popular smart phone as he makes his way from the MTV VMA’s to an after-party while scrolling through Beats 1 Radio on Apple Music.
Why it works: The commercial made its debut during the popular awards show, targeting its key demographic while giving a glimpse at the rising star’s glamorous lifestyle. Travolta’s surprise appearance as the limo driver makes for a quick laugh. too, all while The Weeknd’s latest hit song plays in the backdrop.
The brand is great at inspiring its audience with compelling content that makes you want to strive to be your best. One of their most successful campaigns “Take It” is all about the love of the game. The sports brand also hit it big when they created ad spots featuring the World Cup with a six-episode, live-streaming series called “The Dugout.” The series managed to grab 15 million visits from YouTube to the brand’s website.
“Yesterday is gone. Today is up for grabs.
Do something and be remembered. No one owns today. Take it.”
Why it works: It strikes an emotional chord with viewers while using footage from popular events.
Mayhem is Coming! Yes, the insure agency has become notorious for its hilarious commercials featuring talented Oz actor Dean Winters as he rolls down the highway, pretends to be a fast food bag of trash or a cell phone that fell under the seat.
Why it works: The commercials are full of personality, tell a comical story that consumers can relate to, and features a familiar face.
Charmin has created a number of creative campaigns over the years with bold storytelling and humor. This time around the brand has opted to engage their consumers with a family of bears for their “Enjoy the go” campaign.
Why it works: Charmin promises a feel good experience when using their products, something that everyone is looking for and can relate to.
We spoke with Velvet Gogol Bennett, Charmin’s spokesperson, about how they approach storytelling when promoting their brand.
“Charmin marketing starts with our consumer in mind. Everyone has to go to the bathroom, and with our “Enjoy the go” campaign we are committed to making it the best possible experience it can be. Charmin is always looking to delight our consumers in new and different ways and that includes the way we communicate with them.”
“Our Bear Family allows us to tell the stories of the bathroom experience without using people and still communicate the benefits of Charmin. We are talking toilet paper – an important product for everyone, but we don’t take ourselves too seriously.”
Like Allstate, DirecTV employs comedy to share the story of “Scrawny Arms Rob Lowe,” “Meathead Rob Lowe,” and “Crazy Hairy Rob Lowe,” among others. The ad spots are full of satire, showing individuals the upside of using DirectTV and the downside of using cable.
Why it works: The commercials became a Twitter sensation with users tweeting their feelings about the comical versions of Rob Lowe.