Everyone talks about storytelling in marketing. But the term is so overused (and misused) it’s cliché. You’re more likely to get eye rolls than serious consideration if you mention it in a pitch or brainstorm. That’s a shame. Because the idea behind storytelling — when done right — is powerful.

People LOVE stories. But many marketers forget that storytelling isn’t just telling a series of events, a smooth presentation of the product’s benefits. That’s narration. Storytelling is about conflict. It’s about how a hero, when faced with a challenge, succeeds or fails.

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Every brand story falls into one of these buckets. And brand stories can happen across all mediums, not just TV spots or videos. For instance, take a look at these four ads developed for Nike. What type of brand story do you think fits each one?

See the bottom for the correct answers.

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Correct answers:
1. With Society (D)
2. With another (B)
3. With self (A)
4. With nature/tech (C)

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