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5 Brands Telling Remarkable Stories

5 Min. Lesezeit  ·  
Gabriel Motta Ferreira
2. April 2015

The (R)evolution of Storytelling

Due to the recent evolution of storytelling tools and new possibilities to advertise a business through social media, companies of all sizes and shapes are telling stories to create long-lasting relationships with their consumers.

That’s because there were major changes in the way we tell stories and consume them since our pre-historic meetings at bonfires till nowadays. Firstly, we learned how to draw in cave walls our hunting stories. Then the alphabet was invented and we began to write books. Many years passed and we invented the radio, film and television – that allowed us to create audiovisual narratives and experience stories in a whole new level. But storytelling was never as democratic as it is today today since the emergence of the Internet.

In the past, being a story-teller was something limited to a very selected niche of people. Nowadays, due to recent technology, we are all narrative creators and content-producers. It has become extremely easy to be an entrepreneur too, since now, anyone with a computer and wifi connection is able to create a brand, market it online and try to compete with all big players in the field. Right?

An Ocean of Data

Actually, it’s not easy to stand out in the middle of so much data. There is an ocean of information out there, multiplying itself on a daily basis, simply because we are all content-producers. Having this in sight: How can you ensure your content will reach the right people (or rather, anyone!)?

As if that was not problematic enough, people seem to be increasingly strict to what kind of content they consume, specially regarding advertising. Yep. We skip Youtube commercials as soon as we can. We close all tabs that automatically pops up in our browsers selling the weirdest things. We abandon traditional TV because it has way too many commercial breaks. We. Simply. Hate. Advertising. Unless they give us something no commercial ever gave us before.

Breaking Barriers

Stories and technology have the power to do that. They can break barriers between brands and consumers. And that’s why I invite you to invest time and interest in contemporary storytelling while still paying attention to the old narrative forms and their essence.

Good stories have always existed. Now, with the participatory, interactive aspects of the internet, companies that want to succeed in such a competitive global reality, can use them for their benefit. How? By innovating in format while focusing in the essence of every good story – the human factor behind it.

Discover some companies being smart enough to do that:

1. Chipotle Mexican Grill – “The ScareCrow’

“The Scarecrow” is a multi-platform animation project that follows the story of a Scarecrow fighting to bring healthy food back into our plates. The franchise was created for Chipotle company, a Mexican grill fast-food chain that advocates in favor of environmental causes. The web short-film presents the human factor behind the company – it is possible to produce healthy fast-food while not destroying the environment.  An app-game transformed consumers into players and invited them to participate in the cause, by controlling the Scarecrow character and avoiding fast-food industry demolish our world.

Play the game  here and watch the making of.

2. FreePeople – “FreePeople webseries”

FreePeople is a specialty women’s clothing brand that features the latest trends and vintage collections for women who live free through fashion, art, music, and travel.. In order to put forward their newest collections while portraiting its free-spirit target-audience, the brand created a web-series of contemporary love, presenting a couple’s story per episode. Its narrative is so strong that most episodes were selected by Vimeo as Staff Pick.

Watch more episodes here and here. Or go to their Vimeo page.

3. Intel & Toshiba – “Inside films”

Intel & Toshiba interactive films take branded content to a whole new level. With the concept of Intel Inside that “only inside is what really matters”, the brands are annually creating films that dialogue with technology while taking advantage of fantastical elements. Moreover, in each project, consumers (or can I already call them ‘fans’?) are invited to participate creatively in different ways, always with the help of technology.  

In the fantastical story of “What Lives Inside”, fans’ drawings were transformed by the team behind the project into film characters.

Learn more.

In “The Beauty Inside”, anyone with a web-camera was allowed to play the protagonist’s role and have some seconds of fame online. The official page of the project is not online anymore, but the episodes and case-study can still be found bellow.

Learn more.

4. Education First – “Live the language”

Education First transforms their services (youth exchange programs) into short-videos of young-adults discovering new cultures. Taking advantage of a fast-edit and beautifully-designed letterings with initial vocabulary one will learn once reaching a destination country, the videos are able to promote the feeling of being an exchange student at its best.

The franchise was so successful they even did a new video, four years after the first collection, celebrating 50 years of the company:

Watch other episodes here, here and here.

5. Tipp-Ex – “A hunter shoots a bear”

Probably the most famous among these projects, Tipp-Ex was one of the first companies taking advantage of interactive videos. What better way to promote a correction fluid product than allowing consumers to change a story and see the result instantly? And what better story to tell that than a funny yet bizarre tale of a hunter shooting (dancing with, playing with, talking to, running from, having sex with..) a bear? 

The project was such a big hit, that some years later the company created an expansion in which the audience could not only change its story, but also history:

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Screenshots: Bill Kalagan, Vimeo; EF International Language Center, YouTube; B-Reel, Vimeo; Inside Films, YouTube; Chipotle Mexican Grill, YouTube.