American presidential elections have always largely revolved around storytelling. As in many other contemporary narrative wars, the best story wins. Barak Obama was able to clinch his first presidential mandate thanks to the story of his life – from a precarious childhood to the US Senate.
But this year the storytelling side of the race is even more overwhelming. Very clearly, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are competing much more on their personal issues than on their political agendas. And this competition is now reaching its climax.
Are you interested in brand and corporate storytelling? And do you love Italy? If the answer to both questions is yes – and if you are a student in search of a second level degree – you have now the chance to attend the Master in Storytelling at Pavia University, the first-ever course of this kind in Italy.
The precise name of the course is Master in Marketing Utilities and Storytelling Techniques (MUST) and the possibility to apply for the academic year starting in January 2017 is already open. Subjects include many marketing topics conceived to offer a solid basis for the study of a wide range of storytelling issues.
Storytelling today is a very mediated activity. We mostly consume stories through movies, books, video games, TV series, social media, and so on. This also applies to brand storytelling, by which companies seek to appeal to increasingly connected customers. But what about traditional, face-to-face storytelling? Is it still relevant and useful? And could it play a role to the benefit of modern companies and brands?
I started to ask myself those questions after reading a very interesting piece by Caitlin Causey on Post Independent (September 15, 2016). The article informs about Spellbinders, a nonprofit organization based in Carbondale, Colorado, which specializes in oral storytelling. What do they do? Basically they organize volunteer storytellers, willing to work with children in preschool and elementary grades.
Have you ever tried to define the meaning of Nike’s celebrated slogan? Although made up of three simple words, clarifying it may be more difficult than expected. Especially to people who are not native English speakers, the most famous brand payoff of all time may sound familiar yet not necessarily transparent. But now a very kinetic ad from China, titled “The New Wave” and made by Wieden + Kennedy Shanghai, provides an explanation of what ‘Just Do It’ is all about.
With the recently launched Pokemon Go app, the cute pocket monsters have taken the real world by storm. As everyone knows, in the first week from launch there were more than 7,5 million downloads just in the US. And the Pokemon Go mania has similarly grabbed the Millennial generation in many other countries across the planet, from New Zealand to Italy.
Such accomplishment is unprecedented. Numbers, however, do not describe it well enough. More telling clues are the crowds that flocked to Central Park last week, attracted by the sight of a rare Vaporeon; or the many young gamers you can easily spot everywhere, wandering the city, looking into their smartphone, and stopping excitedly for no apparent reason.
The little creatures at the centre of this commotion – by the name of Pikachu, Squirtle, Charmander, Bulbasaur, among many others – may seem to make this case very specific. But in fact many brands can learn a lot from it. Here is what is making Pokemon Go an incredible success, opening new ways for other brands to engage and thrill their audiences.