Good Advertising Is Good Storytelling

Good Advertising Is Good Storytelling

At the highest level, advertising needs to give people a reason to love a brand even if they never intend to buy the product. In other words, they need to not only entertain viewers, they need to make them believe in something, just as all good stories do.

Well-crafted ad campaigns have deeply human themes about belonging, self expression, and the capacity for human kindness. They have messages which transcend commerce, and most importantly that evoke intense emotion in the audience. When I examined some of the world's most iconic brands through this lens, it proved true.

What is a Story?

What is a Story?

A story is an account of something that changes.

In its simplest form, that's all that it is. Some define stories as entertainment, but that merely skims the surface of why people crave, devour, and want to share them. A story is about the world or people who change around us, and the subsequent effect; whether it's through a lesson learned, a moral told, or even a cautionary warning (tragedies are usually about something or someone who needs to change, but fails). 

How Story Structure Echoes Music Theory

How Story Structure Echoes Music Theory

There's a reason why works of art are called compositions. They are by definition composed, with a structure that the creator felt best represented that work.

While I doubt anyone would fault a painter who sketches out her subject beforehand, or a songwriter who includes a chorus between his stanzas, the term "formula" has a negative connotation in storytelling. All formulae have the same purpose: to ensure clarity of message. Yet for other mediums they are considered tools of the craft, while for stories they are considered unscrupulous.