A fascinating article in USA Today by Bruce Horovitz spoke to the power of storytelling when it comes to creating effective ads.
Horovitz writes, “The best ads of 2014 share one literary trait: They tell stories — beautifully.”
“Sometimes these stories are visual picnics. Some stir in haunting music that you find
yourself inexplicably humming while brushing your teeth. Some hit just the right cultural chord. And some are simply clever as heck.”
This speaks to the challenge of winning the hearts and minds of today’s consumer. Breaking through today’s extensively cluttered marketplace is very challenging. Breaking through and being remembered is even more challenging.
Facts vs. Fiction?
There’s also an old saying that goes, “Facts tell. Stories sell.”
It’s an adage that’s still very relevant today when it comes to winning the hearts and minds of people. It’s true in public speaking. It’s true in conversation around the water cooler. It’s true when it comes to sales presentations. It’s true when it comes to crafting advertising messages.
People are more apt to connect with a good engaging story about your business than they ever will hearing a laundry list of boring facts or figures. People care about the outcome, not the process. They are moved by product benefits, not features. Those are much more convincingly told via engaging stories than they are via simple proclamation.
Show me, don’t tell me.
How and Where to Tell Your Story
So when it comes to telling these stories, which advertising mediums are the most effective — broadcast television and radio…or the Internet?
No doubt, the Internet does a great job delivering the facts. But it’s radio that is the great storytelling medium. Radio is a very powerful storytelling communication platform, as it relies on what has scientifically proven to be most powerful of the five human senses. It allows the storyteller to inject emotion…mood…ambience…soundscapes…music… humor…drama…inflection…characters. In short, gripping, memorable storytelling.
I’m sure many of you can still remember Paul Harvey’s “The Rest Of The Story”? This is a powerful example of using radio to deliver compelling stories to the marketplace.
If you’re audience wants “just the facts,” they will find them on the Internet. But if you’re looking to truly engage an audience and compel them to take an action of some sort (a phone call, a purchase, a store visit), you simply must tell them a great story.
Perhaps start by telling some entertaining and engaging stories about why your best customers do business with you. Recall an example of a challenge one of your customers overcame. Tell folks the story of how and why the business was built, and how it has grown. Make them laugh. Make them think. Heck, even make them cry (if your product of service calls for it).
Just make sure you’re using the most powerful medium in the world to convey that story properly…and don’t assume it’s the two-dimensional, impersonal world of digital media.
Every business has a unique story to tell. Try telling yours on the radio in 2015!