The Irresistable Power of Storytelling – Told by the Harvard Business Review Blog

An interesting story was published today on the Harvard Business Review Blog, called The Irresistible Power of Storytelling as a Strategic Business Tool.  The post talks about the power of classic storytelling as a means to connecting with an audience.

If you were one of the millions, and millions of people watching the Super Bowl this year, you would have seen the Puppy Love ad. It was one of the most popular ads broadcast during the Super Bowl, for many reasons. But as discussed in this HBR story, it’s success is largely the result of the development of a classic story, this one presented in a mini-movie format.

Harrison Monarth spoke with the researchers at Johns Hopkins, who predicted that the Budweiser spot would be a winner after conducting a two-year analysis of 108 Super Bowl commercials. In a paper that will be published in the Fall 2014 issue of The Journal of Marketing Theory and Practice, Keith Quesenberry and research partner Michael Coolsen focused on brands’ use of specific strategies to sell products, such as featuring cute animals or sexy celebrities. But they also coded the commercials for plot development.

They found that, regardless of the content of the ad, the structure of that content predicted its success. “People are attracted to stories,” Quesenberry tells me, “because we’re social creatures and we relate to other people.”

It’s no surprise. We humans have been communicating through stories for upwards of 20,000 years, back when our flat screens were cave walls.

As Monarth notes in his story, “the most successful storytellers often focus listeners’ minds on a single important idea and they take no longer than a 30-second Superbowl spot to forge an emotional connection.”

For advertisers and marketers seeking to connect with your audiences in this fast moving marketing and media landscape, the simple concepts laid out in this story are most certainly worth your while.

Read the full story here: link