Posts Tagged ‘storytelling’

☞ Apple co-founder Steve Jobs is generally acknowledged as a great storyteller. During his exile at Pixar Animation Studios, after he was banished from the Apple kingdom, he was undoubtedly involved more directly with storytelling. But his stint as a storyteller didn’t end there, as could be seen in his phenomenally successful second coming at Apple. What he did is now the subject of case studies in marketing textbooks, which may include the role that narrative plays in his salesmanship.

With CEO of Apple Inc. Steve Jobs.

With CEO of Apple Inc. Steve Jobs. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“That’s right, the late, great Steve Jobs wasn’t just a tech visionary. The temperamental former hippie was also a master raconteur who understood the power of a well-told story.

From his legendary product launches (in which he took us on winding journeys of anticipation, intrigue and revelation) to the Stanford commencement speech he gave in 2005, Jobs was a master of the storytelling art – and perhaps one of the best storytellers the corporate arena has ever known.

His ability to weave a narrative may not be the only reason Apple is the world’s most valuable company* (there are many ingredients to that particular cocktail of success), or why you can’t go five metres without seeing an iDevice in someone’s pocket and why, upon hearing news of his death, the President of the free world, Barack Obama, said Jobs “changed the way each of us see the world”: but it certainly helped.

Jobs might be a fine example of someone who uses storytelling techniques to increase brand equity (little known fact: telling stories is in his blood – Jobs’ biological sister is an acclaimed novelist), but there’s no reason your brand can’t utilise the same storytelling techniques and achieve the same results. Albeit most likely on a lesser scale – I’m not promising you’ll be the next Apple!”

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* Exxon Mobil has apparently regained its lead, but Apple is still in the top rank of valuable companies in the world.

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☞ Authenticity appears to be a more important issue, thus far, on my Cinematic Narrative blog. The following article, on brand storytelling, highlights its general importance. As we have seen on the Cinematic Narrative blog, the issue of authenticity is not only confined to narratives that purport to be non-fictional, such as Bigelow’s Zero Dark Thirty, but it might also be an issue in some fictional narratives, such as Tarantino’s Django Unchained. It is therefore an issue that applies to narrative in general, especially if the narrative touches on some contentious concerns of the real world.

“One thing that all good stories have in common is authenticity; the ability to portray characters and plotlines in a way that give them both longevity and a very real impact in our lives, whether fictional or based on true life experience.

So, why shouldn’t storytelling transcend to today’s fast-paced, always-connected world and more particularly play a crucial role in the way a brand engages people?

Enter the narrative and its ability to convey and establish a brand that rings true to its consumers. Based on the fundamentals of storytelling it can play an invaluable role in the way creatives develop and deliver communication messages and campaigns that go beyond the clutter in today’s flooded marketplace.

Explains Ricardo Rocha, executive creative director at Etiket, an Irene-based, multi-award winning advertising agency: “A brand should be seen as a person that has a story to tell. People build their personalities through context which is the direct result of narrative that develops through their past, present and future.””

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☞ Is night the best time to write?

What is it about night and storytelling?

Unless it is raining, I do not know what it is about the day that is not always the best time to write. Maybe, it is too bright outside. Maybe, the light is a distraction, not blinding, just distracting. Maybe it is too busy and noisy during the day or during business hours or the hustle and bustle.

Maybe it is because during the night things slow down. Dusk sets the tone. It calms the day down. It is quieter. It is easier to think. I do not know. Maybe it is just a more romantic time of the day. Maybe it is the lamp which dimly lights the room like a bar. Maybe it is that perfect amount of low light. Whatever it is the night certainly puts me in the writing mood. The night puts me into the story. Whatever it is I am more comfortable writing. My thoughts flow more easily with a soft buzz. I am more poetic with prose. I feel the romance of the story or storytelling or both. If I could compare the mood I would compare it to the soft, slow, distant sound of jazz.

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