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3 Steps to Telling a Story like an Ad

WE Communications Blog: Transformative Storytelling

— Jessica Ozdemir 

When you think about advertising, what immediately springs to mind?

Is it the old Nestlè adverts with the ‘will-they-won’t-they’ episodic romance?

Or the John Lewis Christmas fare with Monty, the lonely penguin, and the female penguin Mabel given to him as a companion by his child owner?

Or perhaps it’s the Budweiser advert where the puppy is friends with a horse?

Everyone has a favourite. But what all successful adverts have is a story.

When storytelling is told well it can win over the hearts and minds of even the strongest cynics out there.

Whether the audience are shareholders, customers, employees, investors or other stakeholders, the end goal is always the same: you have to show them your way of thinking.

And what better way to do so than through an impactful story?

Storytelling is the most powerful tool for communication professionals to win people over to their way of thinking.  Conversely, when used poorly it will probably lead to mistrust and cynicism, so getting it right is important.

Our Founder Melissa Waggener Zorkin believes there’s a structure to storytelling and it’s dependent on three key attributes:

  1. The idea itself needs to be innovative, it must deliver a great opportunity or solve a specific problem.
  2. The infrastructure must exist to make it available.
  3. Most importantly people need to hear about it.

In her words, “An invention simply isn’t an innovation, until its story is told and it’s in the hands of the people who need it most.”

Brands, like consumers, are being challenged with rapidly evolving technologies and the creation of more digital channels with which to engage.

Connecting with your audience across these mediums has made it more difficult to create a story that will stick.

But, the importance of showing up on your buyer’s journey, showing that you can speak their language, means this is a challenge you simply can’t ignore.

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