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On Storytelling

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Check out this commercial I happened upon last night:

I absolutely loved this spot for its beautiful and classic storytelling elements, which I’ve pulled out below.

1. A Compelling Underdog – right off the bat (excuse the pun) we are introduced to our hero, an everyday Joe who becomes instantly loveable (and in mere seconds, no less!).

2. Relatable Story – there are no celebrities living the high life, there are no luxury cars speeding through the Alps, no Leave It To Beaver type bullshit family moments. You have a thirtysomething single man in his modest apartment playing video games and eating crappy convenience store snacks.

3. Humorous – don’t ever underestimate the power of making people smile. Students ripping on a high school music teacher is something we can all remember and chuckle at.

4. Let Others Do The Talking – it’s not always possible, but whenever you can support a message through testimonials and observers, validity and perspective shine through.

5. Unexpectedness – I don’t know about you, but I was completely caught off guard when I realized this was a commercial for a friggin search engine. And here’s the direct result of my surprise – I immediately relived the story again through a fresh perspective. We see this often in movies, when the twist is held until the end of the film and you instantly replay the key moments of the film.


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Growth obsessed startup co-founder (MusicBox) and strategist-for-hire.

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