Story Telling and Marketing Communication Revisited
In the opinion of Prof Chris Ogbechie, Professor of Strategic Management Lagos Business School, in today’s marketing world, the key issue is to create emotional brand attachment in all our marketing communications, therefore, brands need to actively cultivate relationships with customers. A powerful but meaningful way to do this is by good story telling. Storytelling is one of the oldest and most powerful modes of communication. Stories are more easily remembered by peoples because the human memory is story-based. It’s the use of information in a narrative form to motivate potential and prospective targets.
In Africa, Nigeria stories are used in teaching simple lessons and for simplifying complicated moral situations. Not only does the story telling model work every time, the message last longer and impact of such stories profound. Abidemi Junaid a communication evaluation specialist at the Kantar Company takes it a step further by saying most complicated messaging are better done by making the core issue simple thus making transmission and comprehension faster and long lasting.
Consumers love a good story. Stories are the reason we stay awake late to finish a book, watch a movie or binge watch on Netflix. Stories engage us like little else. So why do we not see more stories used in advertising? If done right, storytelling can make your communications more engaging, more impactful, and more motivating for your brand.
A story needs to be a clear narrative arc, one scene needs to influence or build upon another to tell a story. For the purposes of advertising, however, not any story will do. It takes skill and thought to make a story an effective creative tool for your brand.
Kantar’s global neuroscience practice uses facial coding to demonstrate the power of storytelling as a creative tool to engage viewers, to identify whether a story is working for a brand and how it might be improved. Based on testing thousands of ads facial coding confirms what we have previously found in our Link pre-test: stories have huge potential to both engage the audience and to motivate them.
While most consumers are indifferent toward brands most of the time, stories can help brands engage people and overcome their indifference.
The first job of any advertising is to engage the audience, to attract and hold their attention, and story ads do just that. Story ads typically result in greater enjoyment and engagement than non-story ads, observed in both more expressive facial reactions and stronger ratings on the key Link questions, indicating a greater ability to attract attention and be remembered.
Once an ad has attracted attention it must then establish a motivating impression of the brand. Academic research has shown that narrative transportation, or losing oneself in the flow of the story, predicts how well a viewer will recall a story and whether they will act later. Research by Kantar confirms that, if well-crafted, story ads can have more motivational power than non-story ads. The most successful messaging occurs in stories where the brand’s role is necessary, believable, and integral to the plot. I hope you are enjoying the story so far kindly permit me to take a leave now, but I would return in a few weeks to wrap up my story. Meanwhile I would be delighted to read from you on this subject and more.
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