The photo is by Paul Gregg from Flickr.

                   The photo is by Paul Gregg from Flickr.

Do you want to hear a story?

Of course you do; we all do. Humans are built for stories; we are stories—looking to find others stories—stories of hope, meaning, joy and inspiration.

In the marketing world, storytelling has been one of the key concepts marketers have been trying to apply to brands and campaigns.

But what makes a good story? Aye, there’s the rub! There are many classic stories in all forms of literature and drama but very few successful stories in advertising. The search of what makes a good story that “sells” has eluded many marketers!

There have been many TED Talks, books, blogs and podcasts about the essential elements that make a story compelling, i.e. a protagonist and antagonist, cliffhangers, good vs. evil. All these elements can make a good story however do these tips help a marketer and a brand?

Here are a few tips to add and remember when creating marketing stories:

1. Show, Don’t Tell.

It has been documented that people do not remember facts and figures when simply stated, but in a story the facts and figures are much more likely to be remember by the audience. However, do not just list facts or benefits but embed or hide them deep within the storyline and let the audience discover them through the journey.

2. The Audience is First and Foremost.

It is easy to get carried away by the products, benefits, cool ideas, the bottom-line or one’s ambitions. Always ask yourself:

·      Does this move the storyline further?

·      Will the audience enjoy this? How much?

·      What do we have to do so the audience will enjoy this story?

“The art of acting is to move the audience, not the actor.” – Unknown

3. People Want an Experience.

People go to the movies or read books to get carried away—to see and feel something, to be reminded of a moment, to learn something new, or just to be entertained. The audience’s appetite for experiences is insatiable—give them a meaningful one.

4. People Are Built for Relationships.

Humans are made to have relationships with one another—whatever the relationship might be. The animation studio Pixar provides a good example of this. They create human stories with objects and creatures that don’t have human feelings.

·      Could fish have feelings?

·      Could monsters have feelings?

·      Could cars have feelings?

·      Could robots have feelings?

Yes, the animation is lush, the writing is universal and funny but it is the creatures with human characteristics that make Pixar’s films adored.

5. Let Me Entertain You.

Make it entertaining! It can be funny, sad, full of adventure, amusing, thrilling, informative… whatever it is make it entertaining.

Point Taken:

Audience, audience and audience. People want to be a taken on an interesting journey where they can relate to the characters, discover the takeaways for themselves and enjoy it, all at the same time.

To identify and tell the stories of your brand, contact our Chief Experience Designer at or call 416-595-9823. 

GenesisXD, is an award-winning Expereince Design firm, who show clients how to communicate their story through innovative design, branding and communications.