All this week we’ve been talking about storytelling. First, we had The Science of Storytelling series, The Science of Storytelling, Part 1. Then I Breaking Down Serial: Telling a Good Story for you.
However, this entire time I have shied away from giving you examples. Today, I am finally going to review a number of different examples of great brand storytelling.
These are the brands who are doing storytelling right.
Lego is the brand with the most visible storytelling content. By far, they are the most successful at it. Why, you ask? Because of this:
As a parent, I have watched this movie a lot. My son absolutely loves it. He will sit in his chair and laugh hysterically at what’s happening. In the past two weeks, I’ve actually seen it 3 times, but the best part is I don’t mind. It makes my son happy and it’s a good movie with a great cast. I’ve watched a lot worse for the same outcome.
If you have young children, you’ve probably experienced the same thing.
The point is the Lego Movie was a masterful stroke of genius in terms of advertising, content marketing, and storytelling. Throughout the movie they were able to tell a great story with their products that engaged both children and parents. Then they created new products for the things audiences saw in the movie.
It was absolutely brilliant.
The Lego Movie is not the only type of brand storytelling they have commited to, but it’s one of the most prominent. Lego has actually used their products in a lot of different media. They use their products to make movies for their own websites and for other famous brands.
Even the YouTube famous (slightly NSFW) Epic Rap Battles of History made a Lego themed video.
Nike is probably one of the best storytellers in modern advertising. What other brand can say they renamed their corporate officers to brand storytellers? They’re really committed.
These are some of the ads Nike ran during the early 1990s. In these ads, Nike isn’t telling you to buy their product. They aren’t telling you to buy anything. Instead, they are telling women to be individuals, championing a cause of rebellion and self-improvement.
They’re still really good at telling a story to their audience. You can see a number of great examples of storytelling through their sports ads and Livestrong YouTube Channel. You can find one of these videos below.
Apple is our final example of a storytelling brand. That makes a lot of sense when you think about Steve Jobs, the mastermind behind the iconic rise of Apple. He was a storyteller, he was a very powerful CEO, and he infused his flair for storytelling with Apple’s advertising.
Below is a video of Steve Jobs being the masterful storyteller. This comes from his iconic speech at Stanford, and not Apple’s corporate content. In this speech, he is authentic, gritty, and inspiring.
He’s perfect for this audience of college students.
Here’s the video, if you’re interested in watching.
That being said, Apple established itself as a powerful storyteller too.They were capable of inserting storytelling into advertising, some of which became iconic. We all remember the 1984 video or the Mac videos of the 200s. Both are examples of how to tell a story, even in short television commercials.
Again, we’ve posted the 1984 video if you were interested in watching.
These brands have found a way to create effective, iconic advertising by telling an engaging story. In each instance, these ads did more than just say buy our product (few, if any, said that at all). Instead they allowed their audience to envision themselves as a main character and the story to sell for them.