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The importance of storytelling in marketing


The importance of storytelling in marketing


1 Joseph Campbell and the guidelines for building a good story
1.0.1 Click here for the interactive version
2 Some types of campaigns based on storytelling
3 Successful Case Analysis: Storytelling in Natura campaigns
Last Updated January 23rd, 2020 at 12:41 am

Social media has changed the world of marketing completely. On the one hand, they offer more possibilities to reach consumers, but at the same time they run the risk of overloading them with information. Consumers have less time, they are easily distracted and it is difficult to captivate them.

With this panorama, the old and always current technique of storytelling has become more relevant than ever. Countless courses, talks and seminars on marketing focus on storytelling as one of the most important tools. When it comes to rethinking engagement strategies , engaging stories have proven to be one of the most effective options.

In an article in Forbes ‘ s , Kimberly Whitner recounts his experience working for Proctor & Gamble, where he had only thirty seconds to catch consumers. There he learned that “marketing messages had to change from simple, easy-to-understand ideas to a series of compelling stories that would generate deep and longer-lasting engagement .”

Consider big brands like Coca-Cola, Nike, and Google. These have become icons because they know how to engage their audience through great stories . In other words, they know how to use storytelling to their advantage.

But what is this technique that everyone is talking about? In this article we will look at the basics of storytelling and how you can improve your marketing campaign. In addition, we will see different types of campaigns that can be designed and we will analyze a successful case.

Joseph Campbell and the guidelines for building a good story
Men dressed in gray uniforms march like automatons through a dark tunnel. Through another tunnel, a woman runs with a hammer in her hand, like a mythical heroine. The woman throws the hammer and breaks the screen that has the men hypnotized. On this image the caption is printed: “On January 24 Apple Computer will present Macintosh. And you will see why 1984 will not be like ‘1984’ “.

This is Apple’s iconic ad for the 1984 Superbowl. Before going on the air, executives considered the ad irresponsible because it did not show the product, but it ended up making history. How? Doing just that: telling a story.

Your brand can remain in the minds of consumers for the duration of the ad or it can become part of the imaginary of an era: the difference between one and the other is effective storytelling.

Friend David Sable (Y&R boss) states that “a creative must understand why Shakespeare, the Iliad and the Odyssey, or the Bible is still being read.” Even with the new technologies, Sable highlights the need to go back to the basics, to the essence.

“Facebook did not create the ability to share. It is true that it made it more efficient, but humans have shared forever. So it’s about having a good product and then having a good story to tell ”.

To understand the art of storytelling, no one better than academic Joseph Campbell . This good man spent decades of his life studying the accounts of ancient cultures from both the West and the East to identify the patterns that unified them.

Campbell then came to the conclusion that, in all times and cultures, stories always responded to the same structure and made use of a few elements: a hero, a challenge, a journey, an enemy, symbols, allies and an end. with a moral.

From these observations, “the hero’s journey” was born: a scheme used by creatives from all over the world and in all sectors. Studying the elements of the “hero’s journey” is key to building any kind of story, be it Star Wars or the Apple campaign.


Click here for the interactive version
Some types of campaigns based on storytelling
When designing a story for your company, you should think about what type of story will suit you the most. Here are some examples:

1) Founding story: Many well-known brands have based their campaigns on attributing sentimental value to their founding story. In general, these campaigns are based on the value of family, tradition and effort . They incite consumer loyalty and a sense of familiarity with the products. This is the case for brands such as Johnnie Walker, Otto Schneider and Hausbrot.


2) Emotional bond: Some brands appeal to associate their products with a certain sensation: the most famous case of this is Coca-Cola. His campaigns were always based on transmitting a feeling of happiness, company and family moments linked to his brand . That is why in 1971 they created one of the most iconic advertisements of all time, today known as the “hilltop ad”. His main idea was to present Coca-Cola not only as a drink but as an excuse to share a moment with another person.


3) Experience and adventure: Certain brands focus their campaigns on experiences, adventures and possibilities associated with their products . For these campaigns, the most important thing is to stimulate the imagination and curiosity of the customer. So you will be tempted by the possibilities that the product offers you. Examples of this strategy are: LEGO, GoPro and Hilux.

4) Positive impact: Other brands seek to associate their products with good acts, innovation and socially and environmentally conscious practices. In general, your clientele is made up of people who care about these issues and who want to use their consumer vote to make a difference. It is important for these brands to focus on the ways in which their product makes a positive impact on the world. This is the case for brands like Toms, Warby Parker and Natura.


5) Humor: Some brands prefer to base their campaigns on humorous stories that consumers can relate to. In these types of campaigns, success is determined by the level of boldness or ingenuity of the ad and the accuracy of its target demographic. For example, Banco Galicia’s ads are aimed at a middle-aged audience that identifies with the cartoonish couple dynamics that it depicts.


Successful Case Analysis: Storytelling in Natura’s campaigns
Natura is a Brazilian cosmetics company founded in 1969. With the tagline “Bien ser bien”, it is committed to maintaining the well-being of people and the environment.

Natura’s main competitor is AVON, which has a long history. For this reason, Natura’s UK Phone Number Database List strategy focuses on highlighting the innovative nature of its brand. Products are positioned in a way that is linked to nature, well-being, indigenous peoples and progressive values.

One of the most important elements for effective storytelling is timing : telling stories that people want to hear at a certain time. For this, socioeconomic trends and events that affect people’s interests and consequently, the market must be taken into account. For its 2018 campaign, Natura took into account the international advancement of feminism among the younger generations . For this reason, they focused their campaign on messages such as: “strong, powerful, bold” or “being a man is much more than being a male”.

The campaign was highly effective. In particular, his ad “Homen celebrates all ways of being a man” has more than a million views on YouTube and in the comments users literally comment things like “Take all my money” or “They earned my love.”

Thanks to this careful work, Natura is among the brands with the best reach in social networks and its sales improve year by year.

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Anyway, if you can’t come up with ideas for an advertisement, you can always turn to your grandmothers: they are an inexhaustible source of stories. And they know how to count them.

Author: Marina do Pico

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Marina Do Pico
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Marina Do Pico
Community Manager at MD Marketing Digital
Hello! I’m Marina, I study Writing Arts at the National University of the Arts. I like to write, read and make music. I have been in digital marketing for a while, writing content for SEO, managing social media and PPC accounts. I hope my articles help you to know more about digital marketing.
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