It may come as no surprise, but people love stories. Human beings are natural storytellers—they can’t help telling stories, and they turn things that aren’t really stories into stories because they like narratives so much.
Any true storyteller probably hates the idea of degrading the beauty of a story to sell a product, but from a marketer's perspective, story is the surest way to capture an audience, tap into the human nature that loves a good story, and gain the loyalty of the story listeners. Too often, marketers miss this opportunity, opting for flashy images or a fast talking sales person to promote their idea or product. Often this seems like the easier approach, but more often, it's not the most effective approach. Taking the time to develop the story around your product is worth the time and investment. In the end, it will likely resonate more deeply with your customer.
A 2014 study showed that 84% of people wanted to fast-forward through the ads they watch while 60% of them download or record shows so they can skip commercials. Possibly more surprising, the TV commercial event of the year, the Super Bowl, has reportedly lost effectiveness: a 2014 study showed that 80% of commercials aired during the Super Bowl do not increase sales for the companies running them.
People may be scanning past most TV commercials when they can, but a good commercial can still break through. Super Bowl ads were watched more than 160 million times on YouTube before last year's game even began. That means rather than viewing these commercials as a necessary evil to get to the show they want to see, people actually wanted to watch these commercials. They made a point of going to YouTube and spending their valuable time watching the promotion of a product. Many factors can result in a good commercial: humor, a catchy jingle or tagline, or the appearance of an actor or recognizable figure. But more often that not, the overarching theme to a good promotional piece is a story that resonates and connects with the viewer. Even if it's a very short, 30-second story.
Case in point, two of the ad success stories from this year's Super Bowl:
Moral of these stories? Take the time to look creatively at the product you have to sell. How can you see your product being used in everyday life? Tell that story. If you can, make it funny or heartwarming. But whatever you do, make sure it's a good story, because people love a good story.
Originally posted at inkandwell.org by Jennifer Keller. Need help with content development, marketing, or other creative services? Nashville-based Ink & Well has you covered. We offer big city talent small-town price points. Visit our homepage and click through for a list of our amazing services, or click here to email Jennifer.