You can't move for storytelling in the corridors of communications agencies. We don't make ads, we don't market at folk, we tell stories.
This is nothing new. I give you exhibit A.......
Exhibit B, a little vignette...
But it's fair to say that 'storytelling' has become a little more complex of late.
Linear stories are out of fashion, with the end at the start, parallel story lines and God knows what else.
Memento was a pioneer...
But it's all variations on the simple fact that you need to leave space for the viewer to feel involved, it just depends on how much effort you believe they want to make.
With advertising, that's not much!
One the most succesful stories in recent years was actually quite simple, with a clear hero and villain..
Because some things are constant.
One of them is that we all like heroes.
We also love to hate villains.
It's why comic book films are so successful in my view. Apart from escapism, I don't know of a genre that more clearly plays the hero v villain card.
That's something worth thinking about when you tell your own story.
I mean key presentations and pitches.
Tell a story.
A big inciting incident at the start.
Make the client/brand/product the hero.
And create a villain for it to struggle and ultimately win against (usually that's not another brand).
And leave stuff out you don't need. As Howard Gossage said, "If you're going to build a mousetrap, leave room for the mouse".
Don't put in the thousands of stats and bits of analysis. Just what they're telling you and what it means.
So you won't bore the pants of everyone.
And more importantly, there's always a clever dick who is sitting, waiting to ask you difficult questions.
The more you get them to ask the easy ones, about what you've left out, that you're in total command of, the less chance they'll ask stuff you DON'T know.
And the more you'll develop your meeting into a conversation, the more they'll feel part of the story.
And more they feel they're part of it, the more they'll want to make it happen.
Let's face it. No one needed t know Darth Vader's background in the first film. In fact, I wager he was more scary when you DIDN'T know his Anakin Skywalker background.
Just as the Joker's total lack of background was what made him so powerful.