A friend of mine was telling me a story the other day. Since we live in a 140-character world, I'll summarize it:
Basically, boy meets girl, boy goes to New Zealand to spend two weeks with girl, girl comes home and tells boy that she actually met someone else and she just wants to be friends.
I left out lots of details, but when he was sharing the story with me, I was on the edge of my seat. By the end, I disliked the girl (and the guy who was wooing her), had a mental image of what he looked like (Lorenzo Lamas circa 1988) and was totally engulfed in the story. The moral? Storytelling is a powerful tool for any marketer to have.
Think for a minute about how storytelling has changed over the years.
- Radio: No images, just unique voices telling a story (think Orson Welles and The War of the Worlds). That broadcast was so powerful, people thought aliens were actually attacking Earth!
- Early TV: Fuzzy images, still lots of storytelling was required (think the lunar landing of Apollo 11).
- TV and movies today: CGI, 3D, body doubles, green screens… the list goes on and on.
Today’s storytelling is often heavy on the special effects and light on the story. Case in point: Sharknado. I actually watched Sharknado last week, and it was as awful as you can imagine. And it featured Tara Reid's acting. You get the picture.
Anyway, the point is that we as marketers need to embrace the new ways to tell our story, but not get too wrapped up in the shiny new special effects (viral videos, QR codes, just to name a few). If we have a good story to tell and use the tools properly, we can end up with campaigns that are as beautiful as Avatar, conveying a compelling message with a beautiful and equally compelling backdrop.
What’s the story our customers want to hear? Can we find ways to communicate that to them effectively? That's the task at hand.
Just something to think about this week as you're planning your campaigns and deciding what movie to watch this weekend.