Six Brands That Are Storytelling Machines

Katie Petrillo
Katie Petrillo Marketing Manager, B2B, Punchbowl

Posted on August 9th 2013

Six Brands That Are Storytelling Machines

A few weeks ago, I posted an article with advice to help brands master storytelling. In my research, I came across many brands that tell their story in impressive and impactful ways. Many of these stories are best experienced firsthand rather than through my explanation so here is a look at six brands that rock at storytelling:

brand storytellingOreo: Oreo recently released a new Oreo Wonderfilled Commercial featuring a song by Owl City. Oreo did a spoof of The Three Little Pigs and other fairy tales and show how typical evil characters eat an Oreo. The commercial shows these characters in a much more positive light. Oreo’s message is that their brand “makes lives better, brighter, friendlier, and more fun,” even for the most evil of characters. Oreo proves that other companies can situate their brand or product within a fairy tale, customer experience, or fictional world of its own to send a unique message to consumers and engage them.

Kraft: Kraft shaped information into meaning for their “Sanity Snack” campaign. The brand interviewed stay-at-home moms about their lives raising their kids and the stress it often evokes. During the interviews moms admitted that when they give their kids a Kraft snack, they get a break from the insanity of raising kids. Kraft took this opportunity to connect their products to decreasing stress and increasing sanity for moms, which isn’t a traditional message for the brand. This is an indirect, yet emotional way to connect Kraft’s products to real life issues that their customers face.

Johnson & Johnson: Johnson & Johnson effortlessly weaves storytelling into content through their “You were a Johnson’s Baby” campaign. The commercial follows the arc of Johnson’s Baby brand with respect to mothers, its target audience. The creative images that form the timeline show how the brand’s contemporary advertising is a natural extension of the brand’s story and further brings the brand to life by featuringwomen’s relationships with their children. Johnson successfully creates a story that resonates with their audience at a deep emotional level by proposing that their baby products create special moments for mothers and their babies.

Allstate: Consumers create relationships with other people not products or services. Allstate successfully created a fictional character that encompasses their brand with Allstate’s Mayhem. Dean Winters, the man that so skillfully plays Mayhem is constantly humorous and embodies human characteristics when something bad occurs. Allstate puts Mayhem in highly realistic situations to show audiences that Mayhem is everywhere and customers can save money and be better protected from it if they’re covered by Allstate. By creating a likable character that audiences appreciate and root for, companies like Allstate humanize their brand by giving it emotion and personality.

Nike: For as long as I can remember Nike has always created unique messages that inform and excite their audience. In 2012 Nike embraced an innovative market technique with their “Make it Count” Twitter and Instagram campaign. Max and his friend were hired to film a set of commercials, instead they took all the money and traveled to 13 countries in 10 days and filmed it all then put it together to create the campaign video. Nike then asked consumers to share how they #Makeitcount on Twitter and Instagram. Nike’s “Make it Count” campaign was aspirational for consumers. It placed Nike in a position of power and desire as a company that can help you achieve anything you want to help make life count. Brands can take a lesson from Nike and create a story by doing something completely out of the ordinary and then ask consumers for interaction. Consumers will engage regularly with brands because they are constantly reminded of the experiences brands create for them.

Kellogg’s: Kellogg’s has a plethora of studies readily available for public consumption but instead of boring consumers with facts, the brand forms the facts into a realistic and relatable setting. For example, their 2012 Cagdus Artu commercial features families all over the world waking up and starting their day with Kellogg’s and then shows the individuals continuing their day with genuine happiness. The commercial creates an essence of familiarity for viewers and helps them recognize that the power of breakfast lies in Kellogg’s boxes. Kellogg’s proposes that its products will better the lives of the people it touches.

These six brands understand their mission and the people they want to affect with their products. Through these creative storytelling campaigns, they were able to inspire, create connections, inform, and much more. To learn more about creative content marketing and brand storytelling download the white paper, How Brands Can Create Fabulous Content for Moms.


Katie Petrillo

Katie Petrillo

Marketing Manager, B2B, Punchbowl

Katie is the Marketing Manager at Punchbowl, where she contributes to the Punchbowl Trends blog. Follow her on Twitter @PunchbowlTrends and find her on Google+

See Full Profile >

Comments

KelCrummer
Posted on August 9th 2013 at 10:03AM

While these are all great examples, not everyone has the ad budget or resources to do huge campaigns like those you have cited. Do you ahve examples of small businesses doing this well? Or of B2B examples?

robdotalderman
Posted on August 12th 2013 at 7:22AM

Take a look at John Lewis' Christmas adverts. Amazing storytelling that evokes reaction from people of all ages.

When the advert shows for the first time, Twitter and Facebook light up with people talking about it which, ultimately, increases the virality of the whole campaign.