Marketing News: Do your marketing campaigns tell a story?
Do your marketing campaigns tell a story?
What is it that distinguishes one brand from another? The quality of service it offers? The logo? Maybe, but in many cases it is marketing that defines brand perception among their existing and prospective customers. Therefore, you need to make a concerted effort to ensure your marketing is distinctive and consistently shows your best side. Many organisations aim to do this by creating a narrative, using storytelling techniques to convey their values, ethos and overall purpose. It’s this that can make a brand proposition stand out for all the right reasons and make it both compelling and meaningful.
That’s particularly true at this time of year, as the festive season sees everyone from department stores to banks trying to tug our heartstrings. But the storytelling approach can work well at any time, with research by Kantar Millward Brown showing that ads with a story elicit more of an emotional response than those without. However, simply telling a story isn’t enough. It has to be done well, with a strong narrative that genuinely reflects what you’re all about. So what kind of story would show the traits you want to put across? Kantar Millward Brown breaks it down into 4 categories…

The character
Many brands create brand characters to represent them, with M&Ms, for instance, depicting its sweets as living entities, or Kellogg’s creating Tony the Tiger to represent its Frosties cereal. This approach lends itself well to marketing across various platforms. For instance, a brand character can appear on everything from online videos to promotional merchandise such as t-shirts, branded stationery, mugs and cuddly toys – as well as be extremely memorable to the viewing audience.

The Enabler
Some brands might market themselves to show how their product can positively impact on a person’s life. For instance, cosmetics brands will present products such as shampoo and make-up emboldening women and giving them more confidence, while adverts for razors and deodorant often push the message that using these items can make men more attractive.

The Hero
Kantar has highlighted the ongoing Snickers advertising campaign as a great example of how an advert can convey the idea that a brand’s product can put the user on top form. One ad shows actress Joan Collins experiencing a diva strop in a men’s changing room, but one bite of a Snickers turns her back into a well-mannered, bearded sportsman. This was followed by an ad showing Rowan Atkinson’s Mr Bean bumbling along with Japanese warriors, transformed back into an elite martial arts master after a bite of the chocolate bar.

The reward
Many adverts might depict character-building or tough moments, where only the product being promoted can be a suitable reward at the end.

As we say, a brand storytelling strategy can only work if it is genuinely compelling and fits with its existing ethos. Otherwise, a product or service can appear irrelevant in its own marketing campaign and fail to connect with the target audience.

But if you get it right, you can push a strong and consistent narrative across multiple platforms that defines how your brand appears in people’s eyes.


Sources / Further Reading
Information rights research ICO
Why brands are creating ‘social contracts’ to build trust around data use Marketing Week
Transparency, trust and progressive data protection ICO