I love this quote from Content Standard’s story: Why Brand Storytelling is the New Marketing: an Interview with Robert McKee:
“The way to persuade the buyer is to get their attention with a story, and that is very difficult in this day and age of distraction. Story is the most effective way to get attention because what attracts human attention is change. As long as things are moving on an even keel, you pay attention to whatever youâ€™re doing. But if something around you changesâ€”if the temperature around you changes, if the phone ringsâ€”that gets your attention. The way in which a story begins is a starting event that creates a moment of change. When someone is watching a story, something happens that turns the situation, usually to the negative. (It could be to the positive, but even if it turns to the positive, itâ€™s going to become negative in a moment.)”
McKee on writing:
“Thereâ€™s this whole world of study that [all people] have to accomplish. They have to have an authorâ€™s knowledge of the art form. Thatâ€™s the hardest thing for them to get through their heads: here they are, at age 25, 30, and they thought theyâ€™d done all the schooling they needed to do. That they could just sit down and be a writer, a businessman, and that they didnâ€™t have to start learning from the beginning.
“If this was music, and not story, you would have to master music theory. Youâ€™d have to master the form of itâ€”whether itâ€™s classical, jazz, or rockâ€”musicians are technicians who know the structure of music. They recognize that thereâ€™s a techniqueâ€”thereâ€™s a craft. Itâ€™s the same thing with writing, you have to be able to compose.”
One campaign that McKee highlights for doing it well is Dove. “Itâ€™s a perfect example of what a great marketing/storytelling campaign can be, but it begins with an insight into human nature. Without that substance, it doesnâ€™t matter how skillful the storytelling may be.”