Why storytelling works

Storytelling is a popular way for brands to communicate with their audience. But what kind of impact and effect has it on the target audience? In what way differentiates storytelling with other kinds of communications?


Dom Robertson states in his research that people are natural storytellers and that this is why Facebook, Twitter and blogging are so popular. We love telling stories about our lives and current events. Probably the reason why some people are using Facebook as a diary. We also are becoming more critical about marketing messages and commercials. According to Robertson, the best way to reach the audience is with storytelling. Storytelling is the key to have engagement with the target group. Also, storytelling is a perfect tool to create an emotional connection between the brand and the audience. (Robertson, 2013) Storytelling moves people and connects them with the brand. (Gruber, 2011)

Below, the famous  storytelling commercial of P&G and the sequel for Olympic Winter Games in Sochi 2014. Try to watch it without being moved (which is impossible)

If storytelling is being used, the target audiences are becoming less critical. (Chen, 2013) Non- customers think that when something about the brand is told with storytelling, the brand is more sincere.  Also storytelling increases brand attitude with non- customers. (Beerepoot, 2013)

So why does storytelling has a bigger impact on people then, for example seeing an advertisement in a magazine? This is, because when we hear a story, different parts in our brain get activated. In our brain we make up stories for every conversation and action. When someone hears a story, that person wants to relate to it with their own experience. The listener of a story turns it into his idea and his experience. This is why sometimes people cannot make up if it was their own idea of that of someone else. (Widrich, 2012)


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