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February 18, 2013

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Dave Thackeray

Thanks, DMS. Getting to the crux of a story is all about putting your passion and personality into it. You've nailed that.

I think that's why I suggest people learn radio skills to accelerate their storytelling ability. Sometimes you lose some of the excitement in your writing - it feels a bit flat. If you use a podcast as a method of expressing yourself with personality, you can always transcribe the results as a way of bringing your pixels to life.

David Meerman Scott

Dave - Great point on radio skills. I'd agree with that. The other (related) aspect is public speaking. If you can nail it from the stage, you can tell it in writing or on video.

Bill Gluth, Creative Thinker for Business

Great post, David. It really drove home an important piece of making a point in a memorable way. Thank you for sharing it

Craig Lindberg

For years one of the things I would always talk about early on with prospective clients was every company has a unique story, one that needs to be told well. Occasionally a few of them would let us do it and those were the ones that got alot of recognition. Great storytelling visually, written and spoken has the power to gain mindshare. With authenticity and goodwill, it's irresistible.
Thank you David for this very useful post.

Cheryl Smithem

Superb advice. when I try to help clients with their copy, I try to get them to think back to the feelings that started them along the path that led to where they are now. Capturing that joy, or hope or belief and telling the tale of the issue that one wants to fix, solve, resolve, or improve is the essential touchstone for most of us.

David Meerman Scott

Thanks Bill - I've been meaning to do this post for a while.

Craig, I'd agree with you that few companies *really* want to tell their stories. Most just prefer to talk up their products.

Cheryl, Good point to push people back to the stuff they did early on.

Daryll Bellingham

Yes, nice post. Interesting comparison between the very slick Audi advert and the 'homely'Red Cross blog post.

One story feature the blog post did give us was a more specific setting - Cape Cod. One strong story feature the Audi advert gave us was 'direct speech'. When characters speak, they come more alive. This made up for the generic setting. The Audi advert had a stronger resolution as well.

Sheetal Sharma

Story telling is a art very much needed by the new age marketers, in an era of information outburst, where the customers are more informed than ever,the biggest challenge posed in front of marketer is to keep his target market informed and engaged about their services.Kulwinder Singh is the man at Synechron who has mastered the art of story telling and is kind enough to pass on this art to his team members.

David Meerman Scott

Daryll - Yes, I used those two examples for that very reason. One was a multi-million dollar Super Bowl TV ad and the other a simple blog post. Thanks for providing additional observations on these examples.

MacLeanHeather

Thanks for another great post. Brands have become too focused on forcing a product or a service on the consumer. They aren't making it real. Consumers want an experience. They want to feel something, rather than just be pushed. Creating a story makes it real. Having a protagonist and a an antagonist is great way to keep the focus on this.

David Meerman Scott

Thanks Heather. Yes, we all want experiences.

John Running

Really very effective things you shared with us. I got huge of important idea from your post. Thanks a lot for sharing with us !!

Robert Moss

Thanks, David; I agree creating a story of good versus evil that shows how a brand/product/service enables people to overcome a problem can be effective.

But I don't agree that, "Writing without conflict is propaganda." Plenty of propaganda uses the same format ;-)

Writing without conflict is just boring.

David Meerman Scott

Robert - good point that propaganda can include conflict (!!)

Lisa Stockwell

This is one to print out and keep by the keyboard. Great thoughts. And reading your story of modeling in Japan made my Saturday morning. It brought back memories of my own start in advertising in the late '70s and the freedom we had, even in this country, to spend money on great creative. We had fun, which is really what I got from your story, even with the conflicts you acknowledged.

David Meerman Scott

Lisa, Glad that you liked my story! It was a fun adventure. I can imagine that ad work in the 70s was also an exciting time!

Kristiana Almeida

Hi there - thanks so much for mentioning the Red Cross blog post. We're certainly honored to be mentioned as an effective storyteller!

I did want to take a quick second to explain why we don't ask for money in most of our blog posts. Especially in these personal experience posts (this one was written by one of our communicators, Donna Morrissey), we like to view it as an opportunity for us to be sitting down in a comfy chair next to a friend. And after sharing a very personal story with your friend, it might be weird to change the the tone of the conversation and ask them for $20.

We try to find personal experiences from people across the country to help with the preparedness aspect of our mission. Humanizing aspects of our mission may make it easier for others to connect with us.

So while fundraising is important to our work, we recognize that making the ask isn't always the appropriate strategy.

Thanks again for the kind mention, and I hope this explanation sheds some additional light on our organizational storytelling philosophy.

David Meerman Scott

Hi Kristiana,

Many thanks for taking the time to comment.

I totally agree with your strategy. Too many people and organizations ask for money at inappropriate times.

Keep up the great work.

David

Stephanie

Love the audi advert, feel as though the "bravery" theme and tagline should be extended out amongst other story lines and therefore appeal to target audience who are likely to buy audis though?

Nick

Very nice post David! I can definitely agree that the way stories are portrayed through advertisements can play a huge impact on the impressions of the audience. However, it does not explain some advertisements which have no plot or reasoning e.g. some fashion ads like the Dolce and Gabbana ads - I guess it depends on your target audience and the method you need to use to glamorize your product.

David Meerman Scott

Nick, Yes there are some industries that are somewhat different. Fashion (indeed most luxury goods) are about image advertising.

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