Storytelling IV: Best Practices

Storytelling - hero story

(c) Gouraud Studio

In our previous blog posts, we pointed out what to look out for when telling a story and why it works. Now, we’ve looked for great examples where companies apply their story throughout their entire communication. During our search, we realised that this is not so easy to find.

It’s so great when you do eventually find an example, where a strong, emotional story is told, but the product remains the focus.

Here, Google tells us a wonderful story. Wonderful, because it has been skilfully created. And there are several reasons for this. First off, let’s take a look at the story and its structure.

The cute protagonist experiences situations which everyone can identify with, because in each of these situations the archetypal emotions play a role. Each of these situations are connected through the device that is being advertised.

Classic story structure

The protagonist imagines himself giving a presentation and he has stage fright. A feeling that many people know.

In this situation, he tries to receive advice and help from Nexus 7. The device provides reliable information, and in the next scene “shows” his mother what’s been troubling him. The mother, on the other hand, uses the Nexus to encourage our hero with a (time-programmed) message. Again, the story evokes strong emotions. Encouragement, motherly love, confidence, trust – almost everybody can identify with these feelings.

Our hero goes on his adventure

Having been encouraged, our hero goes on his adventure. He overcomes his obstacles, his fear and gives the presentation. Of course he wins – with the help of his Nexus that also supported him during his preparation. The device is so easy to operate that both mother and son can use it without problems, even under pressure.

Immediately after the ‘presentation’ adventure, our hero receives his reward: a timid smile from his beautiful classmate. Thus, he is faced with his next challenge: speaking to her. In order for him to overcome this challenge as well, he goes back to his trusty tool: his Nexus.

Here we find – if you remember the classic types of stories – a typical hero story. The task is set – the presentation – the fear overcome with the help of a mentor (the mother). The hero returns a changed person and receives a reward for his adventure.

Google is very smart here. Firstly, the structure of this short, 61 seconds long spot relies on a tried and tested structure. Secondly, each act of this drama is loaded with powerful, archetypal emotions, which every viewer can relate to: fear of (public) speaking – motherly love, trust and encouragement – and lastly, love.

All these scenes and emotions are associated with the Nexus, which never takes up the centre-stage. But it proves its usefulness, its easy operation and undergoes a considerable emotional charge. So much so, that I myself, as the analyst of this spot, end up googling the prices for Nexus 7 afterwards.

I’ve hardly ever seen a better example for storytelling. It is difficult to find examples where the storytelling is played across all channels of a company or corporate communication.

Do you know any? Then send us your examples via “Comments”.


All our storytelling articles (published so far):

Storytelling I: What’s the Story?
Storytelling II: Why it Works
Storytelling III: Where Does One Begin?
Storytelling IV: Best Practices Google Nexus

Storytelling Best Practices:

Google Nexus

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