Justin Trevor Winters, screenwriter of the upcoming movie “Killing Winston Jones,” joins the Business of Story Podcast to explore the intersection of Hollywood storytelling with commerce content marketing.
The 2015 Brand Storytelling report, now in its third year, has revealed mixed fortunes for many of the UK’s leading brands. The survey that polled 2,800 UK consumers in October has seen Cadbury, McDonald’s, Walkers and Coca-Cola drop out of the top 10 to be replaced by the BBC (4th), Xbox (5th), Cancer Research (6th) and Samsung Electronics (7th). The Aesop Brand Storytelling research top 10 is completed by Playstation (8th), Google (9th) and Facebook (10th).
“As ever, those brands with a strong sense of mission do well in our storytelling survey. Their purposes for being make their narratives heroic and their storytelling clear and compelling. Those brands that have lost a sense of who they are and why they exist have taken a tumble ,” said Ed Woodcock, director of narrative, Aesop.
Kurt Vonnegut gained notoriety and acclaim for his novels -- like Breakfast of Champions, “a slippery, lucid, bleakly humorous jaunt through (sick? inhumane?) America circa 1973,” with Vonnegut acting as our Virgil-like companion, Cat's Cradle, a satirical commentary on modern man and his madness,” and Slaughterhouse-Five, “one of the world's great anti-war books. Centering on the infamous fire-bombing of Dresden, Billy Pilgrim's odyssey through time reflects the mythic journey of our own fractured lives as we search for meaning in what we are afraid to know.
Storytelling seems to be a buzzword these days when it comes to content creation, but there’s much more to it than you think. And I’m not here to tell you how to incorporate storytelling into your content, because that’s a topic that’s been done over and over. However, what I can do is tell you how to avoid the trap of overdone ideas by using classic storytelling techniques. Helping you consistently create refreshing and amazing pieces of content. Here’s how some classic storytelling techniques will help improve your content marketing.
Language is one of the most sophisticated cognitive skills we possess as humans. It expresses and shapes thought. It contains an implicit classification of experience and is designed to change the neural pathways to the brain, thus changing minds.
The changing patterns occur through the use of sounds and symbols. It's a process like that of using metaphors. A metaphor finds connections between things in the mind and new connections enable the mind to see the world differently.
In the French city of Grenoble, there are unusual vending machines that don't dispense soda or snacks -- they print out short stories that look like paper receipts instead. These machines were built by a publishing company called Short Édition, which placed eight of them in public locations (such as the city hall and libraries) as part of a pilot project. Each dispenser has 1-minute, 3-minute and 5-minute buttons, so readers can choose how long their stories are, all of which were written by members of the Short Édition community.
"Then I had another insight about Cervantes’s Don Quixote. As I perform the story I lift up my left hand and the fingers are straight and I’m talking to Laura in the story and saying, “Laura, if the story is just about Don Quixote it fails. But,” and I bring my hands together and intertwine my fingers, “But if it’s about Sancho and Don Quixote; it lives because Don Quixote is the dreamer and Sancho is the practical one. We have these two forces inside us. And often the struggle is to let the dreamer emerge.” To me that’s the crux of the story; it’s about a girl becoming a young woman and bringing these two parts of herself together, the dreamer and the practical one. And the story is also about the father encouraging the daughter."
Margot Leitman, writer, storyteller, teacher, and author of “Long Story Short: The Only Storytelling Guide You’ll Ever Need,” joins the Business of Story Podcast to discuss her latest book, successful storytelling tips, and discovering authentic stories within your own life.
I am optimistic about the next phase of storytelling bringing the industry to a better place—although I do have a bone to pick with how some organizations knowingly (or unwittingly) get in their own way. Here are five things companies do that can impede storytelling success.
Annette Simmons, author of “The Story Factor,” joins the Business of Story to reveal the risks and rewards involved in good storytelling and to share the six stories that everyone needs to be able to tell.
Your brand story should be the thread which connects your value proposition, team, vision, mission and purpose with your customers, potential customers, audience, community and partners. It's who you are, what you are, why you're in business, where you've been, where you're going, why you're going there, who you've helped and the list goes on.
The customers write the story as much as the company does. By creating initiatives that lend themselves to the sustainability of the environment, the consumer base becomes more empowered to participate.
By identifying the areas that directly impact customers and taking initiative to embrace sustainable options to address these areas, Dell creates a dialogue with customers that includes them in the ongoing storytelling process. (highlight to tweet) This has led to innovations in technology and has reduced carbon emissions.
“Doing these things, even though you might argue from a life cycle footprint perspective it’s not necessarily the most impactful thing, creates really amazing stories for our engineers, for our designers, for our employees, for our customers to really kind of illustrate what’s possible.”
Take a moment to think about the best book you have ever read. Why were you so hooked on it? You couldn’t leave it for days… you sympathized with every emotion the main characters went through. You laughed, cried, and suffered with them. That’s what distinguishes a brilliant author from a mediocre one – that author builds an emotional connection with the readers.
Don’t you want to achieve the same influence over your readers? You want to hypnotize them and make them beg for more. There are certain aspects you can pay attention to.
Before the launch of the Collections API, publishing a story with Tweets was a burdensome task. Developers had to manually gather numerous Tweet IDs and embed them into an app or website one at a time. With the Collections API, a single Collection ID is used to edit, update, and publish a story from any tool in the ecosystem. The Collections API can be used with TweetDeck, Curator, Spredfast, Dataminr, ScribbleLive, Wayin, and Flowics to organize as desired.
Keith began his career crafting and overseeing the creation of stories for ad agencies. As he transitioned to education, he found that no one could quite identify what made the good spots good and what made the bad ones flop; everyone was guessing. So Keith decided to do the research to find out.
He hypothesized that some form of story structure existed, either consciously or unconsciously in these winning ad spots, and he set out to prove it.
If you’ve been following our podcast, the results may not surprise you. Keith was able to trace the really great ads’ inceptions to a five act story structure (similar to Shakespeare’s five act plays): Freytag’s Pyramid.
Content marketing is a discipline about storytelling; only in an odd turn of events, it often leads us away from the desire to tell it. We get caught up in engagement metrics, follower numbers and branding. We create content and often lose touch with the big picture, of why we’re creating it in the first place.1 (highlight to tweet) It becomes a task rather than an extension of ourselves, of our company.
Josh Ginsberg knows all about identifying and controlling story. As the co-founder and CEO of Zignal Labs, that’s his main mission. Josh joins The Business of Story this week to talk about the creation of Zignal Labs and the ability to implement it into your business stories.
While Cron wrote Wired for Story with authors in mind, she was surprised and delighted to find such a desire for information on storytelling from the business world. Her advice to those entrepreneurs who feel they may not have what it takes to craft a compelling narrative?
“Don’t worry about being ‘talented’. Don’t worry about writing beautifully. Don’t worry about the art of it.” Get vulnerable, get messy. Let the conflict that is behind all of human life ebb into your story. This is what makes a narrative so compelling, asserts Cron.
“The truth is, emotion is how we make every decision, and story comes down to grabbing us emotionally.” Each and every human lives with internal conflict and recognizing that in both yourself and your customers is a way to tap into a creative potential for story and for connection.
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