Archive for the ‘story’ Category

Joseph Campbell is known to many as George Lucas’ inspiration for the story structure of the original Star Wars films. Dig a little deeper and you find that Joseph Campbell’s Monomyth aka the Hero’s Journey, outlined in his seminal The Hero With A Thousand Faces serves as the basic story structure found in narratives worldwide, since the beginning of time. This Hero’s Journey is what makes the most famous stories universal and also allows us to identify with the protagonist out on their journey, eventually overcoming a challenge to reach a new enlightened state of being. This is classic story structure and the most strategic brand storytellers are very aware of this when creating content meant to authentically engage a following.

At Bolster, we believe the most powerful brand stories are created when a hero is discovered among a brand’s followers and their story is shared in a compelling and cinematic manner and ultimately serves as an example of how that brand is playing the supporting role of the “wise sage” (think Obi Wan Kenobi) that helps our hero achieve their desired state. The following example of this approach in action is from Ebay and is one of the finest I’ve come across (and at half a million views, it’s driving some great results). Not only does it tell a story that highlights Ebay’s brand value, but it does so in a way that we can all connect with. The entire “Ebay Thanks You” series of story-driven content is beautifully conceived and executed and will serve as great benchmark for visual brand storytellers everywhere.

The One That Got Away

And here are a few more from the series Ebay Thanks You, including the anthem that introduces them all.

Anthem

Kingdom Ventures

Wheel & Sprocket

When it comes to sharing the stories of your customers, selecting and documenting an emotionally resonant story helps ensure your content will be shared as much as you had hoped–earned media being the lifeblood of this emerging genre. The amount of brand-created documentary content has grown by reels and bounds this year and some of the most compelling and successful examples of this type of work have been created for Expedia. They’ve unearthed and cinematically documented the stories of Expedia travelers, who are traveling with a purpose. In the two documentaries below, the filmmakers explore why two very unique individuals are travelling across the country and are on a mission to find something – Find your understanding. Find your strength. These brand mantras are given deep meaning as we follow the stories to the heart of what makes travel meaningful.

As you finish watching these films, ask your self “What types of journeys are my customers taking (not just literal journeys, but internal journeys) and how am I helping them to achieve those goals?” This is where any great brand story begins and ends – with helping your customers along on their own hero’s journey.

Find Your Strength

Find Your Understanding

Story > Brand?

Posted: September 10, 2010 in brand, story

Ran across this and had to repost. Interesting thoughts, Mr. Peters. Interesting, indeed.

Stories are the creative conversion of life itself into a more powerful, clearer, more meaningful experience. They are the currency of human contact.

– Robert McKee, Screenwriter

There’s a great article published today by Ad Age about the rise of long form ads. These are short films, music videos and the like that feature brands within the context of a larger story. Rupal Parekh argues that it is the future of brand engagement and that 30 and 60 second spots are no longer where brand love is going to be created (were they ever, really?). And companies are certainly starting to see results to prove that point. Ms. Walnum of Oliver Peoples had this to say about their branded short film series:

“The traffic to our site has doubled each of the last three years and we attribute this in part to the demand for our short films. More importantly to us, the time a potential consumer is spending on the site continues to go up, which we believe leads to a better and deeper brand experience, and of course an increase to our e-commerce sales.”

As we shift to more and more longer form ads or perhaps more appropriately titled ‘branded entertainment,’ one thing will be clear: quality storytelling will become the in-demand method by which to engage customers with your brand.

Read Rupal’s AdAge article here:

http://adage.com/madisonandvine/article?article_id=143603

See an example of one of the Oliver Peoples short films starring Zooey Deschanel here:

“As long as people still have aspirations and goals and dreams, they will always crave Mystery. Whoever heard of anyone craving…statistics? Mystery lies in stories, metaphors, and iconic characters that give a relationship its texture. Mystery is a key part of creating Loyalty Beyond Reason.”

– Kevin Roberts

Today we’ll take a little breather from the heavy lifting and just enjoy Sarah’s story. I created this little short last month for my friend Sarah who was jumping into a very frozen Lake Calhoun. A day or two after I posted this on Vimeo I got an email from the VP of Marketing from Special Olympics Minnesota asking if they could use it on their website and in all communications about the event moving forward. I said absolutely and Sarah’s little story got a lot of mileage for a very good cause. Hope to see you at the polar bar dive next year! I’ll be in my trunks.