We confuse the two. Quite often. We think that an ad with a story – is suddenly storytelling. Its story-selling. Storytelling is strictly – a story about the brand. THAT IS ALL. Anything else, is simply an ad with a storyboard. Ok? Ok!
Example of Storytelling –
Apart from the examples listed here in my other article.
Lifebuoy soaps – Help a child reach 5. This brand exists because there are people in various parts of India that don’t have access to hygiene. This kind of niche, but extremely strong message suggests to the customers that Lifebuoy has done their due-diligence and actually cares enough to talk to remote villagers about their problems. It answers the question – “Why we are here” with its brand story.
Example of an Ad (that can be confused with storytelling) –
A) Nike – Jogger Ad. This is a perfect example where marketers may confuse this to be storytelling. A story of the young fat boy that wants to lose weight is introduced here, with an inspiring message at the end. Sure, this looks like storytelling and can be confused with Nike’s “Why are we here”, but it speaks NOTHING about the brand itself. Its like a product placement in a movie. It means nothing.
Comparison Note –
In the case of Lifebuoy, there was a clear message. Lifebuoy is here to clean India. In the case of Nike, there was no clear message. Does Nike want to inspire fat kids? or does it say that greatness starts with a pair of shoes? The message is there, the consumer resonance is there, but it is NOT storytelling.
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or on twitter at @sanchitkhera7. Im also a philosopher and spiritualist so don’t be thrown off by my twitter bio. Cheers.