Brand Superheroes: What’s Your Origin Story?

IN THE FIRST AVENGERS MOVIE, you see a team of superheroes join together to fight a common enemy. They use their powers to save the world, with little to no regard for their own safety. But you don’t know why. You don’t know what makes the Avengers The Avengers. For that you need to seeContinue reading “Brand Superheroes: What’s Your Origin Story?”

In 2015, Let’s Create Stories That Live Up To Our Screens

MY DAUGHTER RECENTLY UPGRADED from the I can’t-believe-you-carry-that-embarrassing-relic iPhone 4 to the new, shiny, I-am-a-respectable-member-of-modern-society iPhone 6. She touched the device and the heavens opened: Streaks of sunlight embraced her from the sky, fireworks erupted in a brilliant ballet and woodland animals gathered nearby to celebrate. Okay, not really. And by “not really” I meanContinue reading “In 2015, Let’s Create Stories That Live Up To Our Screens”

A Japanese Music Lesson in Brand Storytelling, No Translation Needed

THE BEST STORIES don’t need to speak to us in order to speak to us.  Language can be a barrier. We hear the words and instantly create perceptions that may or may not be intended. Words can deceive. That’s why this short film — an advertisement for a Japanese music school called Tosando — isContinue reading “A Japanese Music Lesson in Brand Storytelling, No Translation Needed”

Breaking the Story Code: Why the Brand Storytelling Hero’s Journey Matters

“The world is shaped by two things – stories told and the memories they leave behind.” – Vera Nazarian, author STORIES ARE PATTERNS. Understanding these patterns, these codes hidden in plain sight, is the key to telling stories in a world of infinite media. Stories today live across paid, earned, owned and shared channels – onceContinue reading “Breaking the Story Code: Why the Brand Storytelling Hero’s Journey Matters”

“Transformation” – Step Four of the Brand Storytelling Hero’s Journey

“The only thing that is constant is change.” – Heraclitus, Greek philosopher  OUR ABILITY TO CHANGE defines us. Star Wars worked because Luke Skywalker became something greater than even he believed was possible, because Han Solo went from heartless smuggler to selfless soldier. Humphrey Bogart had to transform into a freedom fighter for Casablanca toContinue reading ““Transformation” – Step Four of the Brand Storytelling Hero’s Journey”

“Twist of Fate” – Step Three of the Brand Storytelling Hero’s Journey

YOU HAVE CANCER. You go through treatment, get very sick and then, slowly but surely, you get better. The most advanced medical technology available saved your life – but then you drop dead at a backyard party because no one knew basic first aid. This narrative sleight of hand is what I call a “TwistContinue reading ““Twist of Fate” – Step Three of the Brand Storytelling Hero’s Journey”

“Emotional Hero” — Step Two of the Brand Storytelling Hero’s Journey

EACH STEP OF THE Brand Storytelling Hero’s Journey is essential, but perhaps none more so than step two, the Emotional Hero. You might argue that emotion isn’t just a step; it’s a core ingredient in the overall narrative. Emotion – a laugh or a cry, a scare or a smile – is what makes aContinue reading ““Emotional Hero” — Step Two of the Brand Storytelling Hero’s Journey”

“Universal Truth” — Step One of the Brand Storytelling Hero’s Journey

IN MY FIRST POST, I briefly described the Brand Storytelling Hero’s Journey, a new model based on the original Hero’s Journey developed by Joseph Campbell. It’s a pattern rooted in mythology which has stood the test of time – and now brands can use a similar approach to tell stories that move people as wellContinue reading ““Universal Truth” — Step One of the Brand Storytelling Hero’s Journey”

Breaking the Story Code: The Brand Storytelling “Hero’s Journey”

“A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder; fabulous forces are there encountered and a decisive victory is won; the hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on his fellow man.” – Joseph Campbell ANYONE WHO HAS WATCHED “STAR WARS” (andContinue reading “Breaking the Story Code: The Brand Storytelling “Hero’s Journey””

The End of “Content” — Storytelling Using the Layered Narrative System

In my previous post I explained the Layered Narrative concept and why it’s the future of storytelling. But a concept is nothing without an engine to make it work in real lifeI’ve developed a simple system to help brands get the most out of their stories. It’s a system grounded in journalistic principles and driven byContinue reading “The End of “Content” — Storytelling Using the Layered Narrative System”