Once upon a time… traditional marketing – droning on about features and benefits – worked. Marketers interrupted captive audiences, fed them information, and reaped the rewards. But the hard truth is: that time has passed. Interruption no longer pays off. (Think about it, when is the last time you got an unexpected sales call and stopped what you were doing to pay attention? Exactly!)
So how do you get folks to pay attention to your message? Because let’s face it, unless you’re Apple, not a single member of your target audience wakes up in the morning anxious to hear about your company, product or service. Robert McKee has argued that the oft quoted stat about attention spans having shrunk is wrong. Rather, he suggests, interest spans have shrunk. And that means people still pay attention...but only to things that stand out, grab and hold their interest, and pluck an emotional chord.
In other words: stories!
Why are stories so powerful? Because they deliver on all of the above (which explains why people spend hours on end binge-watching Netflix but won’t watch a two minute brand video). Good stories begin with a moment of change in character’s life that grabs attention and begs the questions: how will this pan out? They follow the character through challenges, disappointments, insights, transitions and change.
We work with a lot of creative, clever marcom pros and one things we’ve figured out over the years is that examples of excellence are helpful. So we’ve plucked three examples to get your little gray brain cells humming...
1. Nike’s Equality campaign makes a strong statement about the brand’s dedication to social change, offering its audience more than just sneakers. Nike brings the message home with stories of athletes overcoming obstacles and succeeding.