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Don’t sell the product; sell the story


Confession time - Do you skip the ads on YouTube? I do. Every time. And I know for sure, you do too.

Earlier, one could stream videos without any interruptions, but for some time now, the internet has been flooded with all sorts of “forced” advertisements (some being really inappropriate, if you know what I mean!)

What exactly do you think brought about this undesired revolution?

Advertisements nowadays have become a method to invade the privacy of audiences. Instead of trying to get the audience to notice a brand, such moves are spoiling the experience of the viewers. Though it is an advertiser’s job to get the brand’s name out, the real problem arises when brands start over-loading their content everywhere. From Facebook to Twitter, the same repetitive ads are swarming all pages.

Sadly, it seems like we’re in the dark age of advertising. An age where the good brands keep climbing higher but any other mediocre-trying-to-stand-out type of brand gets sucked in a black hole.

But such an age need not continue. We can revolutionise ad communication by our own power, and the way to do that is to shift to story based advertising. Look at it in this way:
Have you ever thought of wanting to buy the same clothes as the protagonists in a movie/show? Why do you think we end up thinking like this? The movie/ show never instructed us to go and buy those clothes, yet, we want it.
It is our love for fantasy that moves our hearts and makes us take action. Being able to empathise with a character or situation sets us on the path of quick decision making. The aim of movies is only to get the story across, but what reaches our hearts is everything involved in it; clothes, make-up, accessories, bikes, cars, hair style ideas and so much more.
But a brand does not need to be a part of a movie to make satisfactory profits; it just needs to be a part of a strong story. There are numerous examples of ads telling stories. Some are really famous like Guinness ads and Johnny Walker’s ‘Man who walked around the world’ ad,
Johnny walker ad -

 and some not so famous like a Japanese ad on tiles which I had seen a long time back.

These ads were definitely able to grab and keep the attention of viewers till the end and that is what one needs to aim at.
Successful brand stories are generally structured around the brand history and its making, along with its beliefs. When the story behind a brand reaches people, they tend to relate with it and at last end up relating with the products. Brand stories are not just made to engage viewers but to help them emotionally connect to the brand and products. Good story-based advertising requires a lot of brain-work and a strong base without which any effort would end up going to waste. But once this base is built and made into concrete, there is nothing that can stop a brand from climbing higher.

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