Monthly Archives: February 2012

The Power of Story Telling

I’ve worked on a few projects with a company called Seven Stories whose work is all about “bringing compelling stories to life”. They do some fantastic work and really help simplify the complexity and build s story. Working with them introduced me to the power that story telling can have on people and organisations.

As marketers, one of our roles is to tell stories. Really you ask? Think of when you had to sell an idea to your boss. Maybe it was selling the idea of a rebranding project, a creative concept on the latest ad campaign, or maybe a website redesign. Come to think of it, whether we are in marketing or not we all have to tell stories one way or another in the workplace. And as we move up the Corporate ladder, I think it’s all about telling stories to convince staff, shareholders, and the market of the journey you are taking them on. Q-How did Steve Jobs introduce the iPhone and iPad to the market? A-He had a compelling story to tell.


In business, a lot of our story telling is done by rational approaches: hard facts, numbers, return on investment. There’s nothing wrong with that, in fact, that’s how economies function. However, when you tap into the emotional side of things, that’s when you connect, when people remember you, and where you can make a difference. I guess that’s what movie directors are always trying to do in making the next Hollywood blockbuster. That’s not to say you should be coming up with a movie script each time you do a presentation to your boss in the workplace. But it is beneficial when you are selling the idea to try and think about what story you are trying to tell.

What was widely considered one of the more successful/popular Superbowl XLVI commercials recently (even though I loved the funny ones-see my post on 2012 Superbowl Ads)? It was the Clint Eastwood Chrysler commercial. Why? Because it told you a story. It took people on a journey. And it was a memorable one because it connected with people’s emotional side instead of the rational side which would otherwise just talk about the car’s features. Over 5 million YouTube views can’t be wrong!

It’s that “a-ha” moment that you want to cultivate. But it’s not just the end that’s important, it’s how you construct your story from start to finish. So when you do your next idea pitch, think about the story you want to tell. How can you connect with the audience to make it memorable like Mr W below…


2012 Superbowl Ads

Yes there was a game played between the New York Giants and the New England Patriots yesterday which the Giants won 21-17. But apart from that, there’s always eyes on analysing and dissecting the TV ads during one of the most watched events on TV.


So here are some of the the 2012 Superbowl ads. At $3.5m for a 30 second spot in front of over 111 million people, you can be sure measuring Return On Ivestment (ROI) will be critical for those marketers and advertising agencies out there. How to measure? Pre and post Superbowl brand tracking studies, social media mentions, and sales over the short term and long term will all have been discussed as core metrics to determine success. From products ranging from chocolate to beer to cars to charity, success metrics will vary.

Many integrated call to action into their ads with social media playing a big part. put together an interesting analysis of the what took place in social media during the game, halftime and the ad breaks via BlueFin Labs who specialise in Social TV analytics.

But here are 5 of my favourites below. And yes, it’s always the funny ones that get me =)

1. M&Ms: “Just my Shell” – You can never beat dancing M&Ms!

2. Volkswagon: “The Dog Strikes Back” – If you are a Star Wars fan you will love this one.

3. Chevy: “Happy Grad” – Apparently this was a contest entry. Not bad. Very entertaining.

4. Doritos: “Man’s Best Friend” – Every year they come up with some gems. This one is yet another

5. Bud Light: “Rescue Dog” – HERE WE GO! Or is that WE-GO?

Who is Andrew Goudelock?

Have the Lakers finally found a sniper off the bench? With the bench production being a huge cause for concern for Laker fans, it’s certainly a breath of fresh air. As the Lakers have gone 3-1 in their last 4 games, Andrew Goudelock (@0goudelock) (pronounced GOW-DE-LOCK) has put up some solid numbers whilst averaging 20 mins off the bench:

11.5 Points per Game
50% FG @ 17/34
57% 3FG @ 8/14

Selected No. 46 by the Lakers in the 2011 NBA draft out of the College of Charleston, Goudelock spent 4 years playing 140 games averaging 18.4 points per game. In his Senior year he averaged 23.4 points per game with a 40.7% 3pt FG rate whilst being an honourable mention for All-America by the Associated Press. He also captured the College 3-pt Shooting Championship. This is him:

And the kid has range! I’m talking CRAZY range!

In the games I’ve seen, one thing Goudelock doesn’t lack is confidence and killer instinct. Maybe that’s why Kobe has given him the nickname “Mini-Mamba”. As Dave McMenamin from writes, Goudelock has been embraced by his Laker teammates for just being ready when his number has been called. I think a lot of players that have put on the Laker uniform in the past have just been in awe and just freeze when put into certain situations. Not Goudelock. As a rookie he is making the most of his opportunities. It’s good to see him get some run.

Even though 45 players went ahead of him in the draft, he has clearly used it as motivation.

As Goudelock said: “You try not to think about those types of things but that means 45 teams passed up on me. I think I’m just as good as everybody in that draft”.

Whilst these last 4 games are anything but to base his future on, it sure points in the right direction. One can only hope that Coach Mike Brown continues to give him minutes (even when Steve Blake returns from injury). Yes, he surely will have growing pains but you can’t complain about his attitude and his determination.

So even when the chips are down and people doubt you, keep up the fight and believe in yourself. Whether on the basketball court or not, I think this applies.