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!”
“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.”
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.”
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.
“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.”
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.
In this guest post, Commtract’s chief strategy officer Vanessa Liell (pictured below) says the federal government’s decision to significantly increase university HECS fees for courses such as communications and marketing is bad news for young people and bad news for the industry… The marketing industry is currently facing a skills crisis. Sure, core skills such […]
BIG W has partnered with Pinterest to launch its new spring collections campaign that was entirely shaped from key insights of what Pinterest users in Australia have been searching for on the platform ahead of the season. Their campaign will mark the first time BIG W is using Pinterest’s trend insights to provide people with […]
Snap is launching Lens Studio 3.2, which lets augmented reality creators and developers build LiDAR-powered Lenses for the new iPhone 12 Pro, allowing Lens Creators to build Lenses that leverage LiDAR technology, mapping AR experiences closely to the real world. The state-of-the-art LiDAR Scanner on iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max enables immersive […]
Are you busy executive on the run, but also a bit of a raging alcoholic? Well, it appears Kmart is the place to be today. The budget chain has just unveiled a new $25 handbag that comes with a secret booze dispenser. On first inspection the bag looks like your everyday nautical-themed striped shoulder bag, […]
Celebrity chef Pete Evans is once again dishing out the goods by suggesting “sunlight”, “self-love” and “hugging” could work as COVID-19 vaccines. Evans made the comments in a Facebook Live with Sunshine Coast anti-vaxxer political candidate Allona Lahn. Lahn is a candidate in the Queensland state election for the Informed Medical Options Party, who believes […]
The NRL’s night of nights, the Dally M Awards to recognise the season’s best players, turned farcical overnight after News Corp’s The Daily Telegraph accidentally published the winner three hours before the announcement. Just as players were gathering for the Awards, The Tele published an online story from its chief league scribe Phil “Buzz” Rothfield […]
Land Rover Australia today announced its all-new, iconic Defender is set to take centre stage in Seven’s highly anticipated new reality series SAS Australia, as the major automotive and key sponsor. The sponsorship announcement follows the launch of the Land Rover Defender, with the brand integration designed to showcase the vehicle’s unrivalled durability, design and […]
Seven’s new show SAS has proven a surprise hit amongst Aussie viewers, with 834,000 (according to OzTAM metro numbers) tuning in to watch a group of celebrities undergo grueling military-style physical challenges. Roxy Jacenko was the first celebrity to voluntarily withdraw from the competition after just six hours, while Schapelle Corby has emerged as a […]
It’s one of the greatest action blockbusters of all time and 32 years later Die Hard still resonates with the film’s star, Bruce Willis, reprising his John McClane character for a car battery range from supplier Advance Auto Parts. The spot’s the work of creative agency The Marketing Arm and is a surprisingly violent effort […]
Global digital creative agency AnalogFolk Sydney has created a moody new campaign to launch Hyundai’s new N-Line sports package for the i30Sedan, launching across YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and cinemas. The 90-second launch film ‘After Dark’ takes a non-traditional approach to a traditional car category with dream-like sequences and a quirky, original soundtrack featuring deconstructed […]
GroupM Australia Chief Investment Officer Nicola Lewis has been promoted to Global Chief Growth Officer of Finecast, GroupM’s fast-growing Addressable TV business. In her new role, Lewis will work alongside Global CEO Jakob Nielsen and the global leadership team to supercharge the Finecast global footprint, with expansion into 20 countries over the next 24 months. […]
The 9th annual UnLtd Cup saw 24 teams across the industry kick goals for good with OMD taking home the coveted trophy. The annual futsal tournament organised by UnLtd, our industry’s social purpose organisation, raised over $55,000 for children at risk. The extremely competitive and high energy event was held over two days on 15 […]
Global fashion retailer, H&M has announced the launch of its highly anticipated online store in Australia at hm.com. From today, Australian customers will have access to quality clothing at the best price, made in a sustainable way with the simple click of a button. H&M is committed to offering customers more sustainable fashion with all […]
Gillette France has released a new campaign created in collaboration with rookies from the Kourtrajmé film school and creative agency Marcel. With the campaign “Look Like The Man You Really Are”, produced in collaboration and directed by students of Kourtrajmé’s film school, Gillette takes a fresh look at French men, both in their “shaving” moments […]
Cannes Lions has announced the creation of its new masterband, LIONS. Building on 67 years of championing creative excellence, LIONS aims to drive progress through creativity and support the global community on their creative journeys, day in, day out. Speaking at the October edition of LIONS Live, which is taking place this week, Simon Cook, Managing […]
Val Morgan Digital (VMD) has hired four new team members with Alyce Thomas and Claudia Pearce joining as Agency Partnership Managers, Nicola Laing as Strategy & Content Manager and Jack Revell taking on the role of Branded Content & Weekend Editor of TheLatch—. The expansion follows consistent month on month growth at TheLatch—, which reaches 400,000 […]
KITKAT is launching a global campaign, inviting everyone to join in the celebration of the 85th anniversary of the brand. Created by Wunderman Thompson, it raises awareness of a social media competition to help people mark the occasion of KITKAT turning 85 in 2020. The campaign highlights that, at this unique moment, KITKAT will make […]
Following a period of sustained growth and client wins, B2B technology marketing consultancy, Splendid Suggestions, has laid some solid foundations to support the business through the next phase of growth. Off the back of a number of organic referrals from Australian–based clients sharing success with global counterparts, Splendid has recently appointed London-based Jess Littlewood (right, pictured), to lead the UK business and grow the new regional team. Of the appointment, Tim Sands, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Splendid says “Jess […]
VMG Digital, which creates bespoke, mobile-first video creative, optimised for social media platforms, today announces it has been appointed as a global Creative Marketing Partner for the TikTok Marketing Partner Program. Since launch in August 2020, the TikTok Marketing Partner Program gives brand marketers access to tools to create, measure and optimise ad campaigns on […]
Independent media agency MediaSmiths today announced the appointment of senior media executive and former insights lead for independent agencies and direct clients at Nova Entertainment, Natalie Murray, as a new Senior Account Planner/Buyer. Murray will be responsible for end-to-end management, planning and buying for several of the agency’s key clients, ensuring outcomes are delivered. She […]
IAB Australia today announced Playground xyz and Are Media (formerly Bauer Media) as the winners of its inaugural IAB Australia MeasureUp Awards. Selected by the members of the MFA Interactive Committee, the winners will present their research during the 4th Annual MeasureUp conference which begins today. Playground xyz was awarded Best Advertising Effectiveness for its […]
Stockland has partnered with Sydney-based presenter, stylist and author Jules Sebastian on a six-part Instagram TV recipe series – with episodes released monthly – in an effort to inspire customers to create healthy, easy-to-make meals from their kitchens at home. The series kicked off this month with an online demonstration from Jules on making the […]
Understanding the complexities of the tax system is enough to put anyone to sleep. Now H&R Block in conjunction with creative agency The Works, are giving Aussies the opportunity to enter into a peaceful slumber by listening to the soothing sounds of the Australian Tax code. ‘Taxation Relaxation’ is an Action for the Google Assistant […]
Industry superannuation fund, Cbus Super, has ramped up its focus on the retirement market with a new national campaign developed by The Shannon Company (TSC). The spot follows a worker’s morning routine as he transitions from employment to retirement, warmly demonstrating how some things in life don’t have to change. With COVID restrictions ruling out […]