The secrets of great storyteller Brands: Nike, Ikea, Coke, BA, and NZ show us

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There are some core ingredients that are required to craft a good story. The first is to have a simple tale that you want to tell. After all, you want a viewer to get immersed in your story quickly and the best way to do this is to keep it simple. The second ingredient is to lean into core human truths. Whether it be the desire for freedom, the need for accomplishment, the importance of happiness, etc. the stories that resonate strongly are those that tap into these universal truths that ignite something deep down in all of us. The third core ingredient is emotion. We need a story to make us feel. By leaning into human truths you will already start to get there but how you tell the story is what is equally important to be a great storyteller. By looking to incite laughter, sadness, fear, or anger, your story will take on a more personal and memorable meaning.

The great Brand storytellers are not only experts at the core ingredients but find complimentary ingredients that ensure their stories stand out from the rest. Nike has historically been a great storyteller. They know how to tap into the zeitgeist of the moment and build stories around it. Their most recent film reflects this beautifully. The era of “greatness from the unknown” has risen with the help of reality shows, the London Paralympics fame, war heroes, young tech heroes, etc. Everyone likes these stories because they capture your imagination and give motivation that the paradigm of society isn’t set in stone. Their new Possibilities film reflects this.

Nike – “Possibilities”

Ikea has also always been a great storyteller. They tap into the core sentiment of nurturing and personal comfort by putting spotlights on the aspects of home living that feed and strengthen these sentiments. They also know the art of the twist: a nice way of surprising a viewer by making aspects of their stories completely unexpected which draws you into their world with great velocity. A recent film from Spain brings this to life.

Ikea – “Start Something New”

British Airways has wavered in its storytelling acumen. Some of their work reflects a company and Brand caught up in its own reality that it ability to truly connect with its audience was limited. Recent efforts have been better. A new long-form film does a brilliant job at tapping into the core storytelling ingredients and does an exceptionally good job at igniting powerful human emotions. This is done by identifying real stories, those that people can not just identify with but get impressed by. Have a look.

British Airways – “A ticket to visit Mum”

Coca -Cola is among the top Brands in its storytelling ability. Few global Brands can consistently push out excellent stories, stories that make you fall in love with the Brand more and more with every interaction. A recent effort from Argentina leans into family relationships and the power they have in driving behaviour and happiness. The example from BA (above) utilises a similar approach. The movie treatment of showing snapshots of real father/son shots at the end is powerful.

Coca-Cola – “Grandpa”

The last example is not a universally known storyteller but has been able to develop a great example. They have been able to access a universally known protagonist without ever showing or mentioning him. This great storytelling approach allows for each viewer to tap into a visualisation that is perfect for them and thus makes the connection to the story more personal.

NZI – “The Devil’s Chair”

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