Christmas time has always been the time of story-telling. Therefore it seems obvious to brood over advertising, slogans, stories, and their relations to marketing and the ultimate intention to communicate content around this time of the year.
Since several decades advertising is the domain of slogans*, the slogan as the condensed essence of complexity and diversity, be it commodities or knowledge, know-how that is brewed into the mystery of a slogan…. neglecting the particular in favor of the general, mystery instead of transparency.
In the 50ies – from my viewpoint the dawn of advertising – stories have been simple, the world of commodities has been sparse and far less complex, slogans could easily emerge without raising the costumer’s suspicion of concealing depth underneath the surface.
Today the picture changed, slogans simplify complexity in a way that make customers suspicious. People today are longing for in depth information, they are in need of trust.
To cut a long story short, this one reason why story-telling develops more and more into a marketing tool again. Since I decided to change Biestmilch’s marketing and use the advantages of web 0.2, I became more and more aware of the fact what it means to tell stories instead of using exchangeable phrases. Stories have the at least the potential to convey authenticity and build relations with people, they can but they don’t do so necessarily. It is tightropewalk not to tip into superfluous gossiping, remaining precise and honest..
It happened that since several months I passed by the brains on fire blog. They gave me the inspiration to raise this issue today which I consider a very crucial one for marketing people. I have to admit that it is very difficult to make a so-called marketing experts understand what it means to shift from slogan creation to story-telling. This year I made many efforts to explain my approach of story-telling in advertising. I have to admit, I only rarely succeeded to do so.
Here, at the end of my philosophical excursion confusion 😉 a nice and comprehensive summary from Brains on Fire
Stories live forever. Slogans live until the ad agency gets tired of them.
Stories are real. Slogans are made up.
Stories pull you in. Slogans try and push out a message.
Stories are deep. Slogans are shallow.
Stories are personal. Slogans are impersonal.
Stories are passed on by word of mouth. Slogans are passed on by ads.
Stories are a part of who we are. You don’t tell slogans about your grandfather, or how your parents met, or even how you were treated well at a restaurant. You tell stories.
Some folks feel the need to have slogans. And if it helps them sleep better at night, then that’s great. But I’d rather hear a story about them and make the decision in my own head about what that company means to me instead of a company (that I don’t trust) try and force their ideas of who they are on me.
*A slogan is a memorable motto or phrase used in a political, commercial, religious and other context as a repetitive expression of an idea or purpose. The word slogan is derived from slogorn which was an Anglicisation of the Scottish and Irish Gaelic sluagh-ghairm (sluagh “army”, “host” + gairm “cry”). Slogans vary from the written and the visual to the chanted and the vulgar. Often their simple rhetorical nature leaves little room for detail, and as such they serve perhaps more as a social expression of unified purpose, rather than a projection for an intended audience.