Seth Godin, a famous American author, says marketing is not about the stuff you make but more about the stories you tell. Therefore, the way brands tell their digital storytelling campaigns can determine the audience’s feelings related to that brand.
This article will talk about what digital storytelling is, share some inspirational examples of brand storytelling, and discuss whether it may be what your business needs.
What Is Digital Storytelling?
Digital storytelling is the act of delivering narratives to life through digital elements.
This modern storytelling format is created with technology and media production tools, whether it’s the software and hardware. The outcome of digital storytelling can be in the form of a video, podcast, or caption on social media.
The stories usually focus on a certain topic with a unique point of view. They also have characters, emotions, and a message to deliver to the audience.
8 Examples of Digital Stories in Marketing
Many companies and nonprofit organizations have used storytelling techniques to describe their campaigns in a personal way.
I have selected eight inspiring digital storytelling examples. Each storytelling experience is designed based on the brand’s personality. Let’s look at what makes each story unique and why they successfully resonated with the consumers.
1. Dove: Real Beauty Sketches
Dove’s campaign shows a painter drawing women’s faces based on their descriptions and the people who meet them. In the end, the sketches from the women’s explanation are uglier than from other people.
The concept of the narrative proves women are prettier than they think. The video became viral as it gained 10 million views.
Why it’s special: Dove’s message in the campaign perfectly hits the target audience – women. It portrays insecurity, which makes many women relate to the story.
The content has captivating music that suits the tone and visual storytelling. Dove also provides an uplifting message to fight insecurity saying, “You Are More Beautiful Than You Think” at the end of the video.
2. Disneyland Paris: The Little Duck
The video content story is about a little duck who idolizes Donald Duck. He learns about Donald through a comic he finds at a park. However, he has to migrate to another place with his family and leave the comic behind. The journey leads the little duck to Disneyland Paris, where he meets his idol.
Why it’s special: This digital storytelling captures the magical feeling of visiting Disneyland. The duck represents kids’ dreams of meeting their idols like Mickey Mouse or Donald Duck in the park, as it’s said at the end of the video, “Where magic gets real.”
The story holds viewers’ attention since they have to wait ‘till the end of the story to see a happy ending.
3. Samsung: Growing Up
Samsung says growing up means moving from Apple to their products. The video shows a couple who use different brands – Apple and Samsung. The woman, who uses Samsung, enjoys more advanced features throughout the years the couple spends together. The narrative ends with the man upgrading from Apple to Samsung too.
Why it’s special: The brand displays its information about the products cleverly. Samsung shows the feature from the actors’ experience with no text.
The video’s transition from one year to another is smooth without forcing the values. Moreover, the music’s lyrics tie to the campaign singing, “I’m moving on.”
4. Volkswagen: The Force
This digital storytelling example incorporates the iconic series Star Wars. A child wearing a Darth Vader costume uses The Force’s power in the film to awaken things at home. But it doesn’t work.
He then tries it on his father’s car, and the light sparks. It happens because the father uses a remote from afar.
Why it’s special: The video provides childhood nostalgia, emotional meaning between the father and son, and humor thanks to the child dressing as the movie villain. All these ingredients result in a memorable digital storytelling example.
5. Washington Post on TikTok
According to the New York Times, more than 2 billion people have downloaded TikTok. Washington Post sees this potential and decides to develop newsrooms on this platform.
Dave Jorgenson, the face of The Washington Post’s TikTok account, presents video content where he talks about various topics from vaccinations during the Covid-19 pandemic to the US presidential election using humor.
Why it’s special: Washington Post uses TikTok to build trust with young viewers so that they will be more familiar with the news in a fun way. The newspaper company values engagement, as the team also tries to interact with their audience through the comment section after publishing each post.
6. Amazon: Alexa’s Body
This ad visualizes a woman’s daydream of Michael Jordan becoming the physical embodiment of Alexa. He does several tasks, such as running on sprinkles and reading an audiobook for the woman in the bath. This ad received more than 75 million page views within a week.
Why it’s special: Amazon carefully chose Michael Jordan, the voted sexiest man alive in 2020, to represent the desire of imagining Alexa as a human. Another highlight is the woman’s husband’s comedic narrative on reacting to Alexa’s behavior.
7. Cadillac: ScissorHandsFree
Cadillac features a famous movie Edward Scissorhands. It tells of Edgar, the son of Edward, who has scissor hands like his father. He consequently can’t live the life of a regular teenager because of his hands.
However, to make his life better, his mother gets an idea from a virtual reality racing game to buy him a self-driving car one day.
Why it’s special: People can’t relate to the digital story directly, as normal humans don’t have scissors for hands. However, in this story, Cadillac emphasizes that anyone can drive with the hand-free driver technology.
8. Apple: The Whole Working-from-home Thing
Apple uses a mini-sitcom to do the well-directed brand storytelling. It shows four employees working from home with their obstacles and distractions.
Why it’s special: This social media storytelling example is relatable to most people as they work from home during the Covid-19 lockdown.
It also uses fast-paced editing to maintain people’s attention span. The video content concludes the main message that the brand’s products help people tackle the chaotic work-from-home life.
What Makes a Good Digital Story?
- Emotion. It’s a powerful way to hook your audience. Emotional digital stories make them feel something, which then lasts in their memory.
- Relatability. The audience comes first when creating a compelling digital story. Understand the audience’s pain and struggles to find topics they care most about and use relatable imagery.
- Pacing. Know your video content’s tone and create suitable suspense with storytelling techniques like humor, twist, images, and music.
- Brand face. Actors play essential roles in delivering messages and lessons to your audience. You can choose real people like Dove’s ad or celebrities like Amazon’s video.
Why Is Digital Storytelling Important?
- Create meaningful content and connect with your audience.
Digital storytelling can be more memorable and engaging than regular promotions. Dopamine builds suspense, and emotional responses keep the audience engaged with the story. Oxytocin creates a connection through empathy.
- Make your brand unique.
Businesses experience things differently. Show and personify that distinction through storytelling. The audience will learn about your journey and product values without being forced by promotional messages.
- Elevate the price of your product or service.
A story can turn $0.99 head horse to $62.95. People believe there is something meaningful behind the product, so they are willing to pay more.
As you see, digital storytelling can be an exceptionally effective tool to evoke emotion, raise awareness, and grow the presence of your brand. It’s an excellent marketing tool that, when used correctly, can help you expand your business and promote your products without being annoying.
We hope the listed storytelling examples in this article will act as a source of inspiration for your digital storytelling project. After all, sometimes stories can tell a lot more than just words or images on a piece of paper.