Storytelling in a Digital World


There is a lot of talk about the “democratisation of brands” due to the rise of social media. That we need to  “engage” our consumers at every step of the way. That we need to create deep immersive experiences around our brands.

That we are not allowed to be Storytellers any more, that we should rather be “story enablers”

Elements of this is all true.

However, as the individuals who are responsible for establishing a brand proposition, we have a responsibility to our clients (and ourselves) to ensure a dose of reality is applied to all activity & thinking.

Especially now with buzz words that ask us to work on engagement, influence, disruption, interruption.

When discussing story telling in relation to digital, we cannot apply the usual rules.

There doesn’t need to be a beginning, middle or an end.

We have multiple entry points, narratives, authors and perspectives. We need to also consider traditional

We still have to be able to tell stories. We now, more than ever, have to tell stories well in order to punctuate the busy lives of the average person.

This is how I see it:

  • Story = information
  • Telling = the part advertising does to try make the information compelling


The only requirement is  a person on the other end to receive that (hopefully compelling) information.


Every moment we create (as marketeers or as consumers) or is created by others about our brands is part of a larger story.


We all know that the traditional story telling (push only) model is dead.


How do we build these new age, multifaceted, interactive brand stories?


<strong>Put the consumer first.</strong>


Earn the right to “engage”.


Consider <strong>WHY</strong> a user would want to interact with your ‘deep immersive online experience”, what (if any) <strong>value</strong> you are adding (people will only “share” if your content/activity adds value to their lives in some way) to peoples already busy lives.


Consider your brand story from multiple perspectives, touch points, be timely and relevant.


We need to tell stories that allow us to to pivot, shift and change direction.


We have to be able to comment and have an opinion on real time events. Our stories also need to allow room for others to contribute.


We are lucky that “Storytelling” in the digital age allows for all this and more. We just  need to figure out how to do it better.