How Storytelling in Ads is Winning Over a Generation

The Marketing world is always changing to adapt to the evolving tastes of consumers. The days of in-your-face selling and boisterous advertising is a thing of the past. Brand storytelling is fundamentally changing the marketing landscape. From Dove’s “Choose Beautiful” campaign to Amazon Prime’s “Lion Dog”, marketers are weaving stories around brands that are relatable and viscerally connect with consumers.

For many generations selling a product was just that, selling. Claims of being the biggest, baddest and best product on the market were commonplace. Of course, if every product claims to be the best, it doesn’t take much sophistication on the consumer’s part to know they can’t all be the best. These methods of advertising have been falling gradually by the wayside, replaced by a more relatable approach. But where did the transition start from an all out sales pitch to a brand storytelling campaign?


One of the biggest innovators in brand storytelling is Robert McKee, McKee is a creative writing instructor that has taught, collectively, 60 Oscar winners, 200 Emmy winners and hundreds of other people who have gone on to win prestigious awards. Skyword had a chance to catch up with McKee about how marketing used to be in the past and how things has changed seemingly for the better. “We know to some degree that bragging is false and promises are not going to be kept,” McKee says.  “Marketers have discovered the mind is a story-making and taking-in machine.” This realization applies to everyone and is particularly evident in Millennial Generation viewers.

McKee mentions that our mind is essentially begging for stories to be taken in every day. No surprise then that studies provided by FastCoCreate indicate that “We spend half of our waking hours, a third of our lives on earth-spinning fantasies.” Our minds crave stories and connections.. So the toughest issue for the brand marketer is how to convey that story in a way that interests and excites the consumer’s mind.

But how do brands talk in stories? And not just stories but great stories? One approach is to not necessarily focus on the brand or product, but shift the focus to the audience who is likely to use the brand or product. While good product placement is always a plus, people also need to form an emotional and personal connection to your brand, according to i-SCOOP.

When consumers feel that connection to a story, that is when they are hooked and begin to take an interest. The hardest part about creating a compelling story is making it real to the audience. Will they believe the story you are telling them? Will they have an apathetic reaction to your story or feel empathy instead?

With people’s minds begging for stories every day of their life it is easy to see how McKee’s ideas have became so popular to Marketers. From commercials to short videos on Youtube, there has never been a better time for companies to get their stories out to the public. The value of McKee’s doctrine can be summarized by the man himself and we’ll leave you today with this one great idea on how to brand:  “Customers, business partners and employees do not remember numbers or bullet points well, but they remember stories, thus talk in stories.”