Brand Storytelling

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Brand Storytelling

Storytelling seems to have become the chosen form of advertising this Christmas for many brands. We have seen the likes of John Lewis, Sainsbury’s and Debenhams all release christmas focused television adverts.

Storytelling is used in advertising to create an image or picture of a brand with customers, prospects and brand followers, it typically doesn’t have much to do with the actual products that the business sells but aims to reflect the key brand messages. For example Coca-Cola in 2012 choose to focus television adverts around the Olympics and its touring bus, reflecting the brand messages of helping in the community. Storytelling is seen as an effective way for Brands to represent who they are and stand out amongst the competition, when done successfully it can lead to increased customer numbers, revenue and followers of the brand.

As Britain continues to emerge out of the recession, Brands have begun to place more budget in advertising again leading to strong storytelling.  Brands like John Lewis led the way with storytelling back in 2010 with the christmas campaign “A Tribute to Givers” which showed people preparing to give gifts to their loved ones. As a result of this campaign John Lewis saw increased revenues in its stores, a positive buzz with high numbers of the British public talking about the brand on social media. Other department stores soon followed with the likes of Marks and Spencer and Debenhams releasing storytelling adverts in order to compete.

So why is storytelling becoming more popular with Brands? I believe that there are two major reasons – increased competition and the internet.

The world is more connected than it ever has been, business is becoming global and with this brands are too. The market place in consumer goods is ever growing and the desire to attract customers is essential for business survival; marketing is a major factor for customer attraction and retention. As stated above storytelling is a way for brands to stand out, it demonstrates to viewers what the brand is about, the aim of any successful storytelling advert is to engage and spark an interest with the brand.

Storytelling is a long and expensive process for brands but the ROI is viewed as worthwhile, the advert isn’t just limited to one channel and one audience for a short period of time, the internet has enabled television advertising to be multichannel with a global audience and a longer time frame. Brands will often publish the advert along with extra additional videos to a YouTube account in a hope to engage with viewers even more, creating more value for the brand. The internet is a powerful tool for any brand, social media has made consumer word of mouth visible across the world. A good storytelling advert can spread across the world through the power of social media and word of mouth.

Supermarkets traditionally focus their Christmas campaigns around product promotions in order to drive more footfall through their doors and revenue. Sainsbury’s has diverted away from its product marketing this year to form the campaign #ChristmasInaDay focusing around different families home videos of how they choose to celebrate Christmas. This family orientated advert brings good feelings to the viewers through being entertaining, emotive and engaging. Sainsbury’s utilised its communication channels with this campaign, especially internet channels such as YouTube with a extended 48 minute “Christmas In A Day” video and Twitter by using #ChristmasInaDay hashtag on the TV advert. These online channels provide the brand with more ways of communicating with followers with added content it also enables them to gather feedback on the campaign in real time.


BeSeen Marketing’s favourite brand this Christmas has to be John Lewis,  a great television advert was promoted and supported through the use of various marketing channels. The Bare and The Hare showed just why John Lewis are the king of storytelling creating compelling and interesting content which got customers engaging with the brand. John Lewis promoted this campaign via social media, the advert was uploaded to the YouTube channel with associated videos posted on the channel supporting it. An App has even been created which tells the full story of the bear who had never seen Christmas. John Lewis know how to brand their company and what gets customers and brand followers promoting their campaign online. Can any other brand match their talent for storytelling on such a big scale?

Get in touch with BeSeen Marketing to let us know what Brand Storytelling you have planned for 2014…


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