There Are Only Seven Stories Brands Can Tell, says Westpac Marketing Chief

Glasses on open book. Concept of reading and education.
SHARE
THIS



While many brands are all about story-telling and plundering through its marketing to outdo its competitor’s story, Oliver Lynch, head of brand and marketing at Westpac, said in reality, there are only seven story-lines a brand is able to tell.

Speaking at ADMA’s marketing technology event, TechMix, in Sydney last Friday, Lynch outlined how storytelling was the original form of mass communication. It was there before the printing press, before the written word and before any kind of technology. It is ingrained in numerous cultures throughout history.

“Brands picked up on this quite some time ago,” he told the audience. “Advertisers in particular really started embracing the idea of storytelling and since then you can just image all the great stories that have been told, the David and Goliath story of Apple versus IBM, Dove’s quest for inner beauty, and all these amazing stories that marketers have used.”

And yet, Lynch said there are only really seven plot-lines brands can tell, he said, taking the audience through all options.

Overcoming a monster

Star Wars was the prime example of this kind of plot line, and Lynch explained how Virgin airlines in the UK used this plotline a few years back against its competitor, and at the time not the best with its reputation, British Airways.

“Virgin were absolutely taking on this villain that was British Airways,” said Lynch.

When the giant ferris wheel structure in England’s capital, the London Eye, was first being erected, there was a kerfuffle and the structure wouldn’t stand up. As British Airways was a sponsor of the London Eye, Virgin flew a balloon over the scene where hordes of press were gathered, with the statement: “BA can’t get it up!”

Image via Virgin blog

Image via Virgin blog

Rebirth

“This doesn’t get use as often by marketers,” said Lynch, “but I think when it does it can be incredibly powerful.”

Volvo was the prime example in Lynch’s explanation when a few years back the car manufacturer decided enough was enough and poked fun at itself. The brand took a brave move a few years ago “to laugh at this problem they had about being so conservative and safety centric”.

“They laughed at themselves and kind of through that managed this state of rebirth.”

Comedy

This storyline probably doesn’t need much of an explanation. However, Lynch reckoned this is the lazy way of marketing. “It’s almost where we end up as communicators when we’re being a little lazy. It seems the easiest one to fall back on.

“But of course, there are some incredible campaigns there as well.”

Quest

From a film perspective, not much can beat Lord of the Rings in terms of the ultimate quest. And when this plot is done well for brands, Lynch suggested it is probably one of the most powerful.

Brands such as motorbike brand Harley Davidson have used quest, even though Lynch said he wasn’t quite sure what the quest itself actually was.

Image via Wikipedia

Image via Wikipedia

“But it’s probably helping middle-aged white guys to rediscover their masculinity or something along the lines of that. But they’ve certainly got this amazing quest.”

Tragedy

The story of a tragedy isn’t something most brands would want to associate themselves with, said Lynch, but when used, it tends to end up as some kind of public service announcement.

Voyage and Return

“This is where someone goes out into the scary world, takes a brave move and comes back and learns as a result of it.”

The story of Johnnie Walker is a prime example of this storyline, said Lynch, and probably one of his favourite pieces of content.

Rags to Riches

“This is again a very powerful storytelling technique from a brand perspective,” said Lynch. Using the car brand Chrysler as an example, Lynch explained how the below clip actually uses the exact same plot as Cinderella.

Latest News

LinkedIn Unveils Its Most Viewed Aussie Media & Marketing Profiles For 2018
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Media
  • Technology

LinkedIn Unveils Its Most Viewed Aussie Media & Marketing Profiles For 2018

Trinity Consulting’s head of strategy, Anthony James (main photo), is the most followed Australian media personality on LinkedIn according to a new study by the business social media platform. Each year LinkedIn unveils its Power Profiles, the most-viewed professionals on LinkedIn across five categories in Australia. The categories include founders and CEOs; small to medium businesses (SMB); […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Silhouettes on cube boxes
  • Marketing
  • Partner Content

The Digital Specialist Versus The Marketing Generalist: Who Do CMOs Want More?

As technology continues to advance at a rapid rate, the pressure is firmly on marketers to ensure their digital skills are up to scratch. But with all the hype currently surrounding digital, do marketing bosses value those in their team with specialist skills more than the generalists? According to a recent survey of Australian and […]

Partner Content

by Hays

Waitrose Mocks John Lewis’ Elton John Ad For Its Own Christmas Campaign
  • Campaigns

Waitrose Mocks John Lewis’ Elton John Ad For Its Own Christmas Campaign

It’s arguably the planet’s most anticipated Christmas ad and UK retailer John Lewis didn’t disappoint when it delivered its big budget Elton John number to the world on Friday. Check out B&T’s reporting here. Such was the power of the spot, even our very own Dr Mark Ritson wrote a doting homage to the work […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Charity Group Debuts Confronting Ads For International Children’s Day
  • Advertising
  • Campaigns

Charity Group Debuts Confronting Ads For International Children’s Day

Today is International Children’s Day and to draw attention to the often appalling treatment of many of the world’s kids, charity group Right To Play has unveiled two stunning and provocative spots. The work of BBDO Toronto, the first is a 90-second TVC highlighting the mistreatment, forced marriage and child labour suffered by many children around the world. While a second deals […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Sydney Uni & JWT China Connect Human And Machine Learning With Creativity
  • Media
  • Technology

Sydney Uni & JWT China Connect Human And Machine Learning With Creativity

How will the future of work look for creative agencies?  How can technology be applied to the creative process – can it be automated? These are the key questions to be grappled with by University of Sydney academic experts and students in a new partnership with international advertising agency J. Walter Thompson China, in Shanghai. […]

Suncorp Appoints OMD As Master Media Agency
  • Advertising
  • Media

Suncorp Appoints OMD As Master Media Agency

OMD Australia has been appointed Suncorp’s Master Media Agency to manage the media planning and buying for the group’s network of brands including Suncorp, AAMI, GIO and Apia. The appointment of OMD comes after Suncorp confirmed it was reviewing its media account in October, putting incumbent Starcom on notice. It also coincides with the company’s move to a network […]

ABC Unveils Its Content Line-Up For 2019
  • Media

ABC Unveils Its Content Line-Up For 2019

The ABC has put recent management turmoil behind it to unveil its 2019 schedule. Highlights include the return of fan favourites Shaun Micallef’s Mad as Hell, Julia Zemiro’s Home Delivery and Anh’s Brush with Fame. David Anderson, ABC acting managing director, said: “The ABC tells the story of Australia and in 2019 we have many great […]

Seven Ways To Apply Speech Analytics In Marketing
  • Marketing
  • Opinion
  • Technology

Seven Ways To Apply Speech Analytics In Marketing

In this guest post, CEO of Delacon, Michael Center (pictured below), says speech analytics has a myriad of useful applications for any business and here he outlines seven applications to improve your marketing… Speech analytics data collected from calls made by potential new customers allows businesses to drive greater personalisation in the online environment and create […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Stockland Tells Aussies To ‘Give A Little Christmas’ Via CX Lavender
  • Advertising
  • Campaigns

Stockland Tells Aussies To ‘Give A Little Christmas’ Via CX Lavender

Stockland has unveiled its 2018 Christmas Campaign, launching across its national social and owned media channels. Titled ‘Give a Little Christmas’ the ad is by creative agency CX Lavender and celebrates the spontaneous, unplanned and unexpected moments that make Christmas special and can bring a community closer. Ben Allen, general manager marketing at Stockland, said: “At Stockland, we believe […]

Harper’s BAZAAR Devotes December Issue To Conservation
  • Media

Harper’s BAZAAR Devotes December Issue To Conservation

The December issue of Harper’s BAZAAR, on sale today, celebrates a unique collaboration between the luxury lifestyle title and Australia’s iconic Taronga Zoo. Fronted by Australian supermodel and mother of two, Gemma Ward, the December issue is devoted to raising awareness to the work Taronga Zoo, and the newly established Taronga Institute of Science and […]

The $400,000 Problem Of Storing Media Assets
  • Media
  • Opinion

The $400,000 Problem Of Storing Media Assets

In this guest post, Collaboro CEO Warwick Boulter (pictured below), says too many marketers aren’t taking care of their very expensive media assets and offers his tips to ensure you safeguard yours… A business’ digital media assets form a significant part of its overall asset portfolio. Maximising the use of these assets and protecting them against loss is […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine