When you think of storytelling, you probably remember the time when you listened intently to the stories your mother or grandmother read to you. Being swept into a world of stories awakens all kinds of different emotions in human beings.
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Stories not only arouse our emotions but also help us stay more focused and remember information better. Bearing this in mind, it is not surprising that marketers use storytelling as a tool to drive customers’ attention, convey important messages and educate customers about their brand. In the sea of plenty of different storytelling examples, we have chosen the ones that will melt your heart.
#1 Jana Water: The Wing of Love
One of the first storytelling examples comes from Croatia. Jana is a well-known brand of natural mineral water whose campaign about two storks became viral.
It was a special love story about Malena, a female stork with a broken wing, who waited for her lover Klepetan to return from Africa every spring.
Since Malena was not able to fly south, a local man, Mister Vokić, decided to take care of her during winter time. He constructed a nest for her and made sure she got food so she could survive winter. The nest was also a home for Klepetan when he flew back from Africa.
The most exciting time is right at the beginning of Spring – Klepetan’s coming back home season. Jana and Imago Agency decided to tell the world about this remarkable love story and Mister Vokić’s good deed. The return of Klepetan was filmed, streamed, and displayed on the main square in Zagreb, the country’s capital. This storytelling example traveled far away from this small country and melted hearts all over the world.
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#2 Mercedes Benz: Bertha Benz, the First Driver
Mercedes’s cinematic ad is a story about a firm belief. Karl Benz built the first car in 1888 but didn’t think it was ready for the road. His wife, Bertha Benz, believed in her husband’s invention and, without him knowing, decided to drive the wheel into the world. She conquered every challenge in her path and became the first woman to drive a car. This wraps a story of Mercedes Benz as a brand that embraces women in a male-oriented industry and teaches us how it is necessary to believe if you want your ideas to see the world.
#3 Nike: What are Girls Made of?
In this ad, Nike decided to twist the lyrics of a traditional Russian song to make it sound more respectful and optimistic. The story starts with a little girl singing the original lyrics in which girls are made of flowers, rings, gossip, and marmalade. During her show, she sees a strong athlete who inspires her to change the lyrics. She then starts to sing the lyrics describing girls as strong, brave, independent, and made of accomplishments and achievements. The ad ends with the little girl on the field, ready to score a goal. Sounds like an optimistic future, doesn’t it?
#4 McDonald’s UK: The List
There wouldn’t be a good storytelling examples list without some Christmas ones. The List is a story about a little boy who gets carried away with the excitement of writing a Christmas list. He makes a huge list of all the things he wants for Christmas. Later in the story, the boy and his parents walk through the town, and the boy loses his list to the wind.
The boy was disappointed and started to cry, but his parents cheered him up by taking him to a McDonald’s. His mother then asked him: What was on your list anyway? The little boy showed a paper that’s been left of a long gone list with a drawing of their family. The ad emphasizes the importance of spending time with family over the materialistic aspects of Christmas.
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#5 Apple 2013 Christmas Commercial: Misunderstood
Another Christmas tale comes from Apple, from their iPhone 5S commercial. It is a story about a family gathering to do Christmas activities together. Throughout the film, a boy is always on his phone and being judged by other family members for it.
It turns out that the boy filmed their activities the whole time and made a short family movie on his phone. He then surprises his family by playing the movie on TV. Everyone was touched by it and grateful to the little boy for making such a lovely surprise.
Storytelling examples play a huge role in Apple’s marketing strategy. You can read about their recent story and discover some tips on how to create a great story for your brand as well.
#6 P&G: ‘Thank you, Mom’ Campaign
“It makes someone strong to make someone strong” is the main message from the “Thank you, Mom” campaign from P&G. It portrays supportive mothers encouraging their children to persevere through challenging situations on their way to becoming successful Olympic athletes. The company has a series of “Thank you, mom” campaigns that celebrate the world’s purest kind of love—a mother’s devotion to her child—by showing us incredibly touching and realistic advertisements.
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#7 Google Search: Coming Home
A much higher audience can relate to family-oriented storytelling examples. And a truly heartwarming one comes from Google Thailand. It is a story about a man who works far away from home to support his family. It shows the one coming back home he will remember the most.
The ad presents his spending time with his family as he realizes that his father uses Google Search pretty well. From searching for lottery results to finding allergy remedies for his son, little did he know that his father used it to buy a garage. In the very happy end, the man realizes that the garage is meant for him so that he can work at home and be with his family.
#8 Disneyland Paris: The Little Duck
Our last but not least storytelling example comes from Disneyland Paris. This story started with a tweet the park posted about a missing duckling. After two days of silence, they shared happy news – they had found the missing duckling.
With the hashtag “WhereMagicGetsReal” they shared a video about what happened to the duckling. In the video, the lovely duckling finds a Donald Duck comic book after following a butterfly. He falls in love with the well-known Disney character and starts imitating his behavior.
The story then follows the journey of the duckling’s family as they head south for the winter, but the poor duckling couldn’t take his comic book with him because it was too heavy for him to carry. He was heartbroken and sadly continued the family journey.
After a couple of stormy nights, the family gets settled in their new home. Little duckling wanders bitterly through the field and suddenly bumps into the real Donald Duck. Disneyland Paris becomes his “new “home and a place where the real magic happens.
3 Tools To Help You Get Inspired
Determ is a media monitoring and social listening tool that helps you track, analyze and get valuable insights about your brand. With Determ you can select a topic you would like to track, monitor mentions, and see audiences’ reactions to it. You can analyze your brand reputation and see what your competitors are up to. This tool can monitor websites, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, blogs, and forums. You can track any country or language and even receive real-time alerts.
To find inspiration, set up alerts and notifications for keywords and topics related to your industry, so you can stay on top of the latest trends and developments. Before you start drafting your story, it is important to find out which channel people are using the most to optimize your campaign budget. Monitor social media for user-generated content, such as reviews, photos, and videos that you can use as part of your stories. This can help to add authenticity and credibility to your stories and can also provide inspiration for new ideas. Nutella Stories is a great storytelling example of how you can use your audiences’ posts for a campaign.
If you want to find relevant topics that are trending on Google and create a story based on that, you can use Google Trends. It offers geographical data on search engine users as well as keyword-related data such as the search volume index. Referencing a trending topic can boost your customer engagement. With Google Trends, you can choose a geographic region and time period to see how the search volume for the chosen topic has changed over time. To further explore relevant trends and insights, Google Trends also offers a list of similar topics and search terms. This can help you in finding new patterns you can use to create a more complete narrative.
Social Media Analytics
Last but not least, social media analytics can help you understand your audience better. Knowing your audience is important if you want to deliver the right message to the right people.
Before you start analyzing your social media data, it is important to define your goals so you can track relevant metrics and insights. As you analyze your social media data, look for trends that can help you tell a compelling story. You might discover, for instance, that some types of material do better or that certain hours of the day are the most engaging.
Storytelling has become a very powerful strategy to reach out to larger audience, raise brand awareness and increase engagement. Many of the biggest brands have included this in their marketing strategies and reaped the benefits. We hope that these tools and storytelling examples got you excited and gave you some ideas for your next campaign.