How Story Based Advertising Can Help Grow Your Business

Today, the most successful businesses understand the importance of utilizing video content to engage with consumers and establish brand identity. If you missed my post on the importance of video for business, check this blog post where I explain why your business is missing valuable customers if you don't have video content. For businesses that have taken steps to establish their video presence online, I want to explain how you can take your video content to the next level with story based advertising. The biggest brands and marketing influencers use story based advertising to catch consumers' attention and move their identity beyond just a product or service. In this blog post, I'm going to outline how to use story based advertising to grow your business and I'll show you an example of how a large company effectively utilized story based advertising to establish brand identity and show their brand's values.

What is story based advertising?

Well, it's pretty much what it sounds like. Story based advertising uses narrative to sell a product or improve brand identity, as opposed to simply focusing on informing a consumer or outright selling a product or service. The largest brands and advertising agencies use this type of marketing all the time because they understand the universality of great stories. Today's consumers are inundated with advertising content, so utilizing content that they enjoy or that engages them can be the difference between gaining a potential customer or losing someone to the "Skip" button after 5 seconds of your spot. Additionally, modern consumers are not just focused on great products at reasonable prices: they want to identify with a brand and they want to know what values a brand stands for. Yi Zhang of the Department of Marketing at Jinan University in Guangzhou, China writes, "Brand image is the key driver of brand equity, which refers to consumer’s general perception and feeling about a brand and has an influence on consumer behavior. For marketers, whatever their companies’ marketing strategies are, the main purpose of their marketing activities is to influence consumers’ perception and attitude toward a brand, establish the brand image in consumers’ mind, and stimulate consumers’ actual purchasing behavior of the brand, therefore increasing sales, maximizing the market share and developing brand equity." (Zhang, Y. [2015] The Impact of Brand Image on Consumer Behavior. Open Journal of Business and Management)

Case Study

Story based advertising can help your business tackle the complex task of establishing brand identity and values. So let's take a look at how Dick's Sporting Goods very effectively establishes brand values in their advertisement "Fifth Ward Saints" produced by Anomaly and Superprime Films with post production by Arcade Edit. The spot was directed by Ben Quinn with cinematography by Ryley Brown. I keep track of the advertisements online that I find effective; especially when in 5 seconds I can easily skip most ads. "Fifth Ward Saints" is over three minutes long and yet I hung on for every second. Take a look at the advertisement here:

Let's break down what makes this ad so effective. First, it has an incredibly compelling story. There is an inspiring main character, a moving mission, and a heartwarming resolution. The brand isn't unnecessarily forced into the story, and there's not even a mention of the company until the last possible moment - which makes the resolution all the more spectacular. Secondly, the ad makes the company's values clear and most importantly ties those values back to the business. One of the biggest mistakes that can be made in story based advertising is having a compelling story and message but neglecting to tie it back to your brand or product. Lastly, this ad is professionally produced and visually appealing. Audiences and consumers crave cinematic content and have come to expect professional and visually stunning advertising content. This ad delivers on all of those fronts and every element, from the cinematography to the sound mixing, and cinematic and well executed.

Another example of an advertisement that effectively utilizes these techniques is Budweiser's 2017 Super Bowl Ad “Born The Hard Way” which you can check out here.

Compelling, effective, cinematic. A winning advertising combination.

If you want to begin producing story based advertising for your business, feel free to contact me here if you have any questions or would like a free quote and consultation about producing advertising and video content for your business.

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