best practices brand stories

Want to gamble? Hide the objective in your story.

Before you watch the video (which you may have seen already and should watch again anyway) and before you read the NPR article about it (which has spoilers so watch the video first) please reflect on this.

Can your organization show a story where you don’t tell the objective until the end? 
I don’t typically advise this approach because it is so high risk. You’d have to make all the other components of your set up so good to keep the audience interested. You’d also need to keep it short because an audience can only wait so long to know why the protagonist is doing all that crazy stuff. The best way to pull off the delayed objective is with visual storytelling that builds the mystery. Then the risk becomes reward.
And that’s why we should drop everything and watch this video.

So good, right?

If you gamble this way, the objective should be universally appealing.
When the audience waits all that time for the reveal, it better be worth it. The reveal is more likely to be worth it if it’s universally relatable. The subtlety of a universal story means the company that tells it could be selling anything. Headphones! Post-its! Express mail delivery! Which is handy when you’re an online auction platform. When was the last time one of those made you grab a tissue and tear up?

This story works because it’s about a human being doing something all of us other humans understand, not a platform being platformy. Here is more on how always being a person can work for you. 

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