The Answer to Engaging Any Audience in Today’s Cluttered Culture

Have you ever noticed when you are the most engaged or enthralled? I’m willing to bet that you are the most entranced during the telling of a story. Whether that be a friend’s personal story, a silver screen story, the story of a contestant on The Voice or the storyline of a video game. Without a doubt…stories captivate.

The Answer to Engaging Any Audience in Todays Cluttered Culture image StorytellingThe Answer to Engaging Any Audience in Todays Cluttered Culture

No matter how high-tech or digital our communications get, humans will always be drawn to stories of adventure, love, hardship and victory. In my interview with New York Times Best Selling Author, Gary Vaynerchuk, he mentioned that the brands that will win tomorrow are those that can “tell stories fast.”

Why Stories Matter?

I recently heard a podcast where Seth Godin (writer of 12 bestselling books) explained that a $5 bottle of wine and a $100 bottle of wine (from wherever in the world) cost the same amount of resources to make. But people choose to buy the $100 bottle of wine because of a story. People buy the story of where or how it was made or where the proceeds go, etc.

When you bought wine for a friend, did you just close your eyes and choose? I bet not. I bet you were searching for a story in the wine’s name, the logo or a story that related to when you enjoyed that wine for the first time. Stories connect on an emotional level and drive much of our behavior as consumers. Never underestimate the power of a story.

2 Relevant Examples of Solid Storytelling

1) iTunes Radio

iTunes Radio is Apple’s new Internet radio that lets you create stations and stream music on all your devices. Like most free Internet radio services, there are short ads after a few songs. Many iTunes Radio ads, however, are very different in the fact that they are hugely story-rich ads.

One of the current iTunes Radio ads promotes the new Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ album by sharing how the band came up with their name. The band based their name on how many times New Yorkers used the saying – “yeah, yeah, yeah.” Another ad shares that the band Jimmy Eat World recorded their latest album in a famous producer’s personal studio using only vintage instruments.

These ads share interesting facts about the story of each band’s journey. This builds interest and cultivates a connection with the audience. These ads also work well because the stories are targeted to the audience: 1) music lovers listen to iTunes Radio and 2) the targeted ads are based on the listeners specific music preferences and iTunes playlists. Well done iTunes.

2) Chipotle’s The Scarecrow

Chipotle harnesses the power of storytelling to communicate their gripping brand message. They also get mad Next Generation Catalyst points for leveraging gaming to create a user experience beyond the doors of their restaurants. Check out this emotional story:

Question: How will you leverage the sheer power of storytelling to connect with your audience(s)?

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