What’s the Hype September: Apple Event and the Art of Storytelling

  • Author

    Klara Malnar

  • Published

    Sep, 24, 2021

  • Reading time

    5 min

What’s The Hype is our monthly PR & marketing recap where we discuss and analyze our top three stories of the month, alongside some honorable mentions.

(It is also a video series which we post every two weeks on our social media – make sure to follow us to get more regular updates from the PR & marketing world.)

September represents different things to different people. For kids, it marks the beginning of school. For fashionistas, it marks the beginning of fashion weeks. And for tech junkies, it marks the new Apple Event!

Apple Events are a PR & marketing dream – they create excitement, curiosity, and speculations long before the date of the event is announced. The company usually releases teasers beforehand that indicate the theme of the event. 


Because of the popularity and PR & Marketing genius of the Apple Events over the years, we dedicated this month’s What’s the Hype exclusively to it. We’ll cover this past event, and focus on the big part of their marketing strategy – storytelling.

“California streaming”

The latest two-hour-long Apple Event was held on September 14 under the name California streaming. During the event, Apple presented new iPads, iPhones, Apple Watch and announced a new iOS15. The event was, once again, virtual and broadcasted from Apple Park.

According to the Mediatoolkit analysis of mentions containing the keyword “Apple Event”, iPhone had the most mentions among the newly released gadgets – 32 574 to be precise.

Online reactions were predominately positive on all channels, with most of the mentions coming from Twitter. 

The negative sentiment was mostly aimed at the fact that the new iPhone 13 is almost the same as the previous model, apart from the camera placement. That resulted in a lot of memes and funny videos such as the ones below:

Speaking of Twitter, on the day of the event, they changed their like button from the heart to the Apple logo every time users click on it. 

Also, Apple activated a new hashflag, so every time users wrote #AppleEvent in their tweets, a pink and blue Apple logo appeared next to it.

What’s the hype with Apple Events?

“The most powerful person in the world is the storyteller. The storyteller sets the vision, values, and agenda of an entire generation that is to come…”

Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs was the one who started telling stories about Apple. He was a master storyteller and  “Stevenotes”, as they were colloquially called, always drew a lot of attention and interest. However, when Jobs died, many were forecasting the decline of interest in Apple Events. That forecast didn’t come true because Apple continued using storytelling as a big part of its marketing strategy.  

Building connections

Storytelling helps Apple achieve strong connections with their customers and sell them experiences rather than products.

When it comes to Apple Events, every single thing is a well-thought-out story. Things leading up to the event such as teasers and sneak peeks, the event itself, and the aftermath are all strategically designed to create an ultimate Apple experience. Apple seamlessly incorporates new products into an already familiar narrative that reflects the brand and its values. 

Source: Apple

When it comes to the visual presentation of new products, their motto is less is more. They’re always quite minimalistic with all of the focus aimed at the product shown on the big screen and the story about how that product can enrich your life. Another detail that is prevalent in the presentations is sharing customers’ stories to further emphasize how their products can add benefit to peoples’ lives. 

What Apple does is not just telling their story but encouraging customers to create their own stories and experiences using their products. That way, they’re getting more than just customers, they’re getting brand ambassadors

The importance of storytelling

People connect through telling stories, and using storytelling in your marketing strategy adds a human aspect to your brand. With storytelling, you can bring your brand’s personality to life and connect with your customers beyond just selling a product. 

Here are some of the benefits of using storytelling in your marketing strategy:

  • Building relationships and trust with customers
  • Producing interesting and engaging content
  • Inciting emotional motivators and memories
  • Creating competitive advantage and strong impact
  • Communicating brand values and vision

An interesting Linkedin study shows that around 2011, storytelling as a skill wasn’t something that a lot of marketers were using on their LinkedIn profiles. But, only two years later, storytelling became a key skill on 7% of all marketers profiles worldwide. LinkedIn named 2012 as the year of storytelling and from that point on, the storytelling popularity kept on growing.

How to tell a great brand story?

To tell a convincing and relatable brand story you need to have a strategy. The story has to reflect your brand truthfully because, otherwise, it won’t work. Nowadays, customers are really good at detecting when something is forced, fake, and sketchy. 

Here are a couple of tips on how to create a great brand story to help you out.

1. Know your brand and its core message

To tell a compelling brand story, you need to know your brand, what it represents, and what you want to convey to your customers. Every brand has an origin story and those are often a great starting point. Another way is to find an interesting part of your brand and start building the overall story around it. Just make sure your core message is clear and to the point.

The best stories are the ones that are succinct, simple, and relatable.

2. Follow the blueprint of traditional storytelling

What we mean by that is that your story needs a beginning, middle, and end. In the beginning, you’re introducing your brand, and in the middle, you’re detecting the problem the customers may have. The end brings a solution aka how your brand can help the customer.

3. Know your target audience

While creating your story, always keep your target audience in mind. If your story is generic, chances are you won’t get the results you want. The goal is for your target audience to find it relatable and benefit from it.

4. Pick the right medium

Stories can be conveyed in many different formats – videos, visuals, text, presentations, you name it. When picking a format think about which one can help you relate your story the best, and what format your target audience prefers. 

If you’re not sure, according to Oberlo, 54% of consumers want to see more video content from brands, so that might be something to consider.

To sum up

If you’re struggling with connecting with your customers, try storytelling. Nowadays, brands that are storytellers, and not just sellers have customers that are more loyal and engaged. Stories make information about brands and their product much more memorable and evoke emotions that influence customers’ buying decisions. As we can see with Apple (and other brands such as Ikea, Nike, Coca-Cola, etc.), storytelling can have a big impact on a brand’s success. 

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