Digital Storytelling: Brands Leveraging It The Right Way

Who does the White Rabbit mistake Alice for? Pat comes the answer “Mary Ann, his maid.” I (and there’re many) remember the book word by word. The 150 year old novel is a great example of how powerful storytelling can captivate readers across generations. And that’s exactly the brands today need. Learn how brands are connecting with their audience through stories. Get inspired from 100+ digital marketing campaigns.  Also, here’s a list of examples from Indian accounts who have nailed the art of content marketing

Breaking through the content noise

A person living in a city sees 5,000 ads a day; which means a rapid increase from the 500 ads a day a person saw in 1970s according to a study published a few years back by marketing firm Yankelovich.In a marketplace where the consumers are inundated with marketing messages, brands need to stand out to be heard. They’ve to be the purple cow in a group of brown cows. In Seth Godin’s words

“Purple Cow describes something phenomenal, something counterintuitive and exciting and flat out unbelievable. Every day, consumers come face to face with a lot of boring stuff-a lot of brown cows-but you can bet they won’t forget a Purple Cow.”

So, how does your marketing message look like a purple cow? 

This subway ad in Sweden by the personal care brand Apotek is the best example. 

How do you feel when the gentle breeze blows through your air? Breathtaking, I guess. Now imagine standing at a subway platform and the wind from an approaching train leaves your hair a tangled mess. Not a bit breathtaking sight, at all. But with hair care products by Apotek it’s a different sight. At the heart of this magical ad is a brilliantly told story. A story that every woman can relate to after a train commute. To be honest, this ad took digital storytelling to a whole new, insane level. 

What’s digital storytelling? 

In simple terms – it combines narrative with digital content (images, sound, and video) to weave a story that’s high on emotional quotient. It’s been used in education, libraries, museums, public healthcare, and social services. However, the past few years have witnessed marketers increasingly coupling digital with storytelling. 

6 brands who nailed the art of digital storytelling

1) British Airways 

The airlines put up digital billboards in which a kid stands up and points at the sky every time a BA flight flies overhead. And that’s not the end. You’ll see additional info popping out on the screen such as -the flight number, from where the flight is coming, lowest available fares plus more. And the #Lookup was a great way to get people to their branded website Look Up. 

2) John Lewis #MontyThePenguin

It’s called the art of storytelling. A simple tale – but told so differently that it stays with the viewers long after the video stops. 

3) At&T’s Away We Happened

A 6 episode crowd sourced online drama centred on the classic a boy meets girl story became a viral hit. The campaign aimed at Asian Americans featured Jean and Daniel, who meet each other in a coffee shop and accidentally their suitcases get swapped. They leave the coffee shop without knowing it and you can watch what happened next here –

It was an online–only series. The plot was open-ended; users had to vote and post suggestions on how Jean and Daniel’s story would progress. Though a low budget series, it garnered more than 3 million views in its first 3 weeks. 

4) Internet Explorer Ads on Vine

Entitled Not Your Father’s Browser the vines take potshots at the old Internet Explorer. The 6 second videos depict a relationship between old Internet Explorer and his son, modern Internet Explorer; and how cool the son is! 

5) Dove Real Beauty Sketches

A short film revolving around the theme that women are often overly critical of their appearance. Often they ignore their true beauty. One of the most viral ads till date, it elicits emotional response from its target audience. It elates them, boosts their self-esteem, and make them feel special.

6) GE’s Tumblr page 

The page includes videos and images with short captions and relevant hashtags. Each piece of content on the page tells a story. 

Also, worth mentioning are the company’s Vine campaigns #6SecondScience Fair and #GravityDay. Here’s what Beth Comstock, CMO of GE, has to say on the company’s digital storytelling initiatives 

“Behind every person, behind every company, behind everything, is a story of how it got there – and the most relevant stories connect on a personal level.”

Know other brands doing digital storytelling the right way? Share with us. We’re coming up with another post on stories and marketing. So, keep watching this space.