Storytelling MarketingEveryone hates TV commercials, and this is a well-known fact amongst the people who make TV commercials. Fortunately, a few brands and ad agencies are turning things around with genuine, heartfelt storytelling marketing.

Check out three of the most dynamic (i.e. tear-jerking) video ads from the last couple of weeks, featuring Chipotle, Guinness, and Extra Gum (with a bonus ad in Thai at the end of the post). Warning: one or more of the following marketing strategies could cause your eyes to water.

Extra’s “Origami”

We’ve all seen the watching-your-child-grow-through-the-years commercial before. But usually this type of ad sells life insurance or financial planning – not chewing gum. What’s refreshing about this particular ad is that it actually feels like a story – something you’re truly invested in, regardless of whether or not they’re selling a product.

Extra Responses

Guinness’s Basketball Spot

Aaron Tube hit the nail on the head when he wrote:

“For the most part, [beer commercials] depict men as unfeeling doofuses who only want to hook up with hot women and watch sports without being bothered by their wives.

But a poignant new ad from Guinness flips the switch by presenting a group of athletic, beer-drinking men who are defined as much by their kindness as their physical strength.”

Guinness’s marketing strategy has flipped traditional beer advertising on its head by getting rid of the template and telling a story – a real story – that connects with people. (More on that in my next blog post.) The responses were overwhelmingly positive.

Guinness Responses 1

Guinness Responses 2

Chipotle’s “The Scarecrow”

Thanks to write-ups from Gawker and others, Chipotle’s three-minute long animated piece of storytelling marketing is getting huge exposure and shaping up to be one of the most talked about pieces of viral marketing this fall. While there is high production value in this short film (read about it here), it’s the well-crafted story that makes this piece so moving. Chipotle strikes a chord with an audience, who – deep down – is all too aware that there’s more in their food than they’d like to think about. In the first seven days, the video received over 5.4 million views.

Chipotle Responses 1

Chipotle Responses 2

Creating storytelling marketing in the vein of these three companies doesn’t require a huge budget, expensive agencies, or a household brand name. (Of course, those things can help.) Check out these four practical ideas for telling your brand’s story.