Storytelling Is An Ad Buzzword. Focus On The Promise.

If you’re working in advertising, branding, or design it’s very popular to tell people that  you’re a storyteller. There are countless posts on the importance of storytelling, how to become a better storyteller, and storytelling tools. Many claim to be storytelling experts. Have things gotten a bit overblown in the storytelling world? Yes. It’s the new buzzword of choice.

You can’t bore people into buying a product or service. Getting attention is trickier today with so many distractions, sites, and messages clamoring for attention. To build connections and get noticed, you have to give people something of value. It’s about them not you. People value drama, humor, beauty, and insights. Weave these into your messages and you’ll have a stronger chance of creating meaningful connections. They may be stories or they might not.

Every message created is a promise of some sort. Stay focused on the brand’s core promise. Will I save money, look hipper, become more successful or intelligent? What does your brand promise?

Once the promise is articulated, get your ideas out to the right people. Use the smartest channels when they are most apt to receive your communications. If the core promise is smart, everything will flow – from apps to website to video. Perhaps, you’ll even deliver your promise via a story. If you do, make sure that it’s a compelling one.

Great Classic Promises

Apple, Think Different (For people like you who are creative)

Ad that articulated the brand's promise to consumers.

Think Different campaign ad. Dali Lama.


BMW, The Ultimate Driving Machine (You will own the best.)

Part of a message about the quality of the BMW

BMW’s Ultimate Driving Machine ad


LG, Life’s Good (Our products will improve your day.)

Campaign to promote making life a little sweeter

Life’s Good campaign for LG

L’Oreal, Because You’re Worth It (You’re worth the best hair treatment.)

Woman of Worth

L’Oreal because you’re worth it campaign extension