Flying into Mumbai, all the way from Antwerp, Eric Saelens did not waste any time getting started with his own story about storytelling: he got through his bio, hobbies, travel habits and an appeal for donations for the Brandhome foundation in approximately 40 seconds. It took only another 41 and a half minutes to tear through the remainder of his 160 slides. Here are the highlights:
1. Snap! The only purpose in building a brand is to reduce price elasticity. And the only thing a brand is, definitively, is a belief system for your stakeholders.
2. Construct! All stories have 5 building blocks, and they are: message, players, conflict, hero, plot. John Truby would probably add 17 more, but you get the idea.
3. Yawn! The Gumball 3000 rally might be an example of the future of storytelling in advertising, but it makes for incredibly tedious case study videos.
4. Combine! Put the word ‘story’ in front of almost any word you would normally use (telling, lining, selling, mining, living, buying, etc) and you’ve got a ‘methodology’ for storytelling in advertising. Please note: not all words are compatible with this system. Take ‘flamingo’ for example.
5. Alliterate! Saelens made a pitch for his firm’s book “Triple A brands” which is founded on the premise that brands must be Authentic, Accountable and Activating. They may also have to be aardvark, but he didn’t actually go into specifics on this.