What is storytelling?
It is the art of making an audience connect with the story. It does this by providing details, character development, and themes that are relatable to the audience.
Storytelling can be and has been used actively in presentations, advertisements, and videos. It is a persuasive technique that can be used to sell products or services.
Why storytelling is important and why it's necessary to have a powerful story?
Storytelling has been a used form of communication for as long as we’ve had language. It’s powerful because it can create a strong emotional connection with the audience and make them feel something.
Brands in the new business model aren’t confined only to commerce, brand communication is an important aspect in today’s world. There has been a shift in brand communication, and this is because of recession not only in economic terms but also recession in consumers’ life and emotion in terms of – time, space, patience, relationship, energy, and resource.
Ads today are communicating values, inspiring people, and understanding and identifying the important things in life. Ads leading us to a new philosophical depth, almost putting a stop to the rat race. The communication and marketing done by brands are moving beyond the product attributes and benefits. Consumers look at product features, but in today’s world shoppers evaluate brands based on what they communicate, their story, and what they stand for.
Since this is now an important factor, digital storytelling is a technique used by many brands. Today, marketing is about keeping the consumer in good humor. Creating favorable, interesting brand experiences that appeal to the target audience. One can say today’s advertising is about having a conversation with your audience, adding value, being unique all at the same time.
Example of great storytelling in practice-
This ad by Cheers Beer, a beer company in Thailand shows how people are celebrating the smallest of joys in everyday life. It is a compilation of 3 video clips, in the first one we see employees in a sigh of relief that today is a Friday because now they can enjoy, as the weekend is approaching.
The second clip shows that how 3 friends who have visited a mall/supermarket are looking for an empty parking lot in the crowded zone, finding that parking lot makes them happy and brings a smile.
These are small incidents that we as viewers can relate to, we can now understand what the brand stands for but also remember the brand in moments like these. To consumers in Thailand, the brand Cheers Beer stands for happiness, fun, enjoyment, and party.
This ad by Google shows us the different moments that we have humans come across, we can relate to these situations instantly. It shows us that as humans how we are living these small moments that they call Micro-Moments.
Side by side the ad also shows how an individual can use Google in their everyday lives, the functional aspects like- google maps for location assistance, view images and videos on google, browse for information, look for games, etc.
This perfect combination of storytelling and brand attribute depiction is what makes Google a priceless brand. Brand values communicated – smart, playful, useful, and handy/ portable (can be used anywhere, anytime).
This advertisement by Apple. It is a 10-minute film called the film ‘Detour’ which aims to capture the essence of a lost child’s cycle and its adventure-filled ride back to its young owner. Oscar-winning director and screenwriter Michael Gondry (‘Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind’) produced it for Apple, and it was filmed exclusively on the Apple product, iPhone 7 Plus.
The film pays homage to classic French cinema, but it also highlights the many aspects of the phone such as animation, water resistance, filming underwater and animation, time-lapse and slo-mo.
Again, like the Google advertisement, this has a story to tell and this movie was used during the release and branding of the iPhone 7 Plus. A story like this will definitely have an emotional impact and also start talks amongst the audience about the brilliant features of the phone and its capability to record a 10min movie.
The brand values communicated here – sensitive, superior quality, charming and friendly.
To summarize storytelling can be used effectively by marketers for various purposes. The main objective is either to educate or entertain the audience. It helps in telling a story through a narrative or dialogues, it could be in any form. Storytelling can be used persuasively, with the underlying intent of making people change their mind about something or act differently.
It is a powerful tool that can be used persuasively, with the underlying intent of making people change their mind.
We use stories to teach, convince, motivate, and inspire. We also use them for entertainment. Stories are as old as the human race and we tell them in many forms: we tell stories in books, in films, on television and on social media.
Stories have a way of reaching us at the most basic level because they evoke emotion. The best stories make us care about the brand; they make us feel for their joys or sorrows and fear for their safety.