Tags: Gary Vaynerchuk, Google, Google Reader, storytelling, Tools
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My Gmail inbox was out of control. I had over 1300 unread emails in it. Part of that is due to poor email handling habits on my end, but it’s also due to a lot of people sending me information I don’t want or need.
My Google Reader is also overflowing, but it’s full of content I have asked for, stuff I want and, very occasionally, need. in catching up on my feeds over lunch just now though, I came across the below video from Gary Vaynerchuk.
I have a lot of friends working in PR, I hope they watch the video. More than that I hope their clients do too.
I’ve got soul but I’m not a soldier October 13, 2008Posted by David Gillespie in philosophy, storytelling, strategy, Video Games.
Tags: Hong Kong, King Lear, Narrative, storytelling, Transfer of sovereignty of Hong Kong
When I was in the games industry I spent a lot of time writing and thinking about how to deliver narrative in an environment where the progression of the story depended entirely on the end-user’s ability to navigate the obsacles we put in their path, all under the guise of gameplay. It sounds counter-productive, but some of those games can go for upwards of 60 hours, and running in a straight line while a plot unfolds is fun for about 67 seconds, so you have some space to fill.
One of the other crucial elements is understanding what stories you can and can’t apply. Design is invarably driven by experiences designers believe players what to have, you almost never hear a designer say “This is the story I want to tell, what is the best way to do that?”. Funnily enough, while that was my approach, very few people wanted to make my re-telling of King Lear set during the handover of Hong Kong…I can’t say I blame them. Games are, for the most part, engineered so you play the hero and affect the main course of the narrative (what little there is), so the stories are constructed within cumbersome paradigms of good vs. bad, triumph over impossible odds, saving the day and winning the girl’s heart (because you’re almost always a guy).
This may all sound fairly abstract under the harsh light of day in marketing, but the parallels are there to be drawn and should be if we want to get better at telling stories with and through our brands, products and services. I’ve said hundreds of times now – experiences facilitated by but not about a brand; this is key.
When dealing with brands we need to understand the parameters within which we have the opportunity to engage narrative, both for the benefit of an audience and for the brand itself. I’m proposing that there are three types of story-telling we engage in in marketing, and each one should be employed in different circumstances depending on what the aim is:
- A traditional, linear narrative where a single point is meant to be reached, leaving the audience with a very distinct idea of what the brand, product or service is about, what it means and what its intent is.
- A narrative with the brand at the centre of the story but with the story being generated by consumers, leaving the direction of it loosely defined, usually through a particular campaign moving in a very particular direction.
- Narrative with the audience at the centre of the story, narrative where the story is in fact the customer’s own, one where a person doesn’t inform the brand’s story, rather the brand plays but a part in a much larger whole. Hardest to affect, though I’ll argue the most compelling by a long way.
I’m really looking forward to getting into this. If you have any ideas or if you think there are other categories story-telling with brands can fit into, I’d love to hear from you. See you tomorrow when we tackle the first one on the list.
**Update** Tim Beveridge left a great comment below and then wrote some more on Insight + Ideas. Worth checking out!
What’s the story (morning glory)? September 25, 2008Posted by David Gillespie in branding, marketing.
This is a laundrette around the corner from where I work. I’ve walked past it a hundred times and only just noticed the other day “The BIG Store” writing inside the wreath. Above it says “Sehold Use”; I’ve no idea what either is about.
It got me thinking though what the story behind it might be. The writing is in concrete, it isn’t plastic, it wouldn’t have been whipped up over night, whenever it was created. Sure it’s just a laundrette, but there’s a bigger story to be told.
What are the stories we want to tell our consumers? What are the ones they actually want to hear, that they’d actually be interested in? That they’d be engaged by?
How did “The BIG Store” come to be this laundrette on a backstreet in Melbourne? Give me the truth or give me fiction, it doesn’t really matter, but if there’s really nothing remarkable about you, why are we here? Even a laundrette can be remarkable.
Just tell me a story. Be more than the simple sum of your parts. For both our sakes.