Storytelling in marketing has a very impactful power. The source of that power is found in the very building blocks of what makes us human. We have been telling stories longer even than we have written records. They are an intrinsic part of humanity not only because they allow us to remember what has come before, but also because they allow us to feel connected to each other and to the human experience outside of our own. It stands to reason then, that a marketer that can wield this force effectively, can have a huge impact.
There are different ways in which stories can be utilized to appeal to an audience. Stories can tug at the heartstrings, invoke your daily concerns, or compel you to want to be a part of them.
Many will recognize the Extra Gum commercial that inserts the product into the tender moments of a couple’s romantic history. I had certainly never associated gum, much less gum wrappers, with romance before this ad, but years later, I still often think of it when I unwrap a piece.
Think also of the ever-popular set of All State ads featuring the Mayhem Guy. Yes, humor is a large part of the appeal in this case, but the viewer will recognize familiar situations that have happened to them or someone they know, emphasizing the appeal of a comprehensive insurance.
A different format of storytelling is used in the Nike ad featuring Colin Kaepernick. Whatever side of the overarching debate you land on, the commercial certainly made an impact. And for the intended target audience, it associated the Nike brand with a type of story that they wanted to be a part of.
Stories have the ability to make an impact in any format they come in. As marketers, we would be remiss if we didn’t incorporate the practice of storytelling in our tool box. As always, the best way to know how to properly wield a marketing tool is by getting to know your audience and understanding what will appeal to them and how you can use that to become part of their story.