Fundamentally Content

Why Good Storytelling Is Crucial for Advertising & Marketing

A good story always sells better

Advertising & marketing are only effective with good storytelling

A good story is always going to be better for marketing. Selling an experience doesn’t just make your job easier, but also leaves a lasting impression on your customers. That is always good for your top of mind awareness goals.

It separates the wheat from the chaff.

Storytelling has always been an integral part of marketing and advertising. A good story sells. It makes you feel just what the advertiser wants you to feel. Effectively, it makes you want and desire something. It makes you laugh and wonder and desire. It makes you feel something.

In fact, the recent ad by Amreli Steels is one of the best ads I’ve seen locally in a while and it put the brand, the product in the limelight throughout the commercial: a house built 50 years ago, using Amreli Steels, that stood the test of time beautifully. There are numerous other examples of exceptional storytelling creating a memorable experience that we still remember.

Here's what great storytelling looks like

The old “Embrace Life” advertisement by Sussex Safer Roads Partnership from a decade ago made you want to embrace life and made you remember to put your seatbelt on.

The old Fido Dido campaigns from 7UP all told a story, even their 15-second ads, and their target market loved the mascot eventually. They were hooked onto it. I know I was.

The old Mobilink Indigo campaign was literally directed like a movie and told a story that people would aspire to make their own. Ufone’s old “Teri Meherbani” campaigns were hilarious and made us laugh like crazy while revolving around the brand itself.

One of the most common excuses nowadays that creatives use to justify bad advertising is that it gets the job done easily and still achieves the brand’s TOMA (Top Of Mind Awareness) marketing objectives, which sadly isn’t the case.

Every brand has a distinct voice, a distinct personality, and a visual identity. If the story you’re telling doesn’t echo that voice and identity, you’re not doing it right. If the ad conflicts with the brand’s personality, people will never connect the two together, and they’ll forget all about the commercial as soon as it ends. That is simple psychology.

How Not to Market Your Brand

Here’s an example of bad storytelling that worked only because the brand was that established. The recent “Why Not Meri Jaan” campaign from Pepsi Pakistan was a series of rap and hip-hop music videos. If you remove Pepsi’s logo and bottles, you wouldn’t be able to connect the ad to the brand at all. There was very little on-screen that related to Pepsi.

A Campaign Designed for Failure

A more recent example would be the Chocolatto “Destination Wedding” campaign that was recently published, then unpublished on their social media. The commercial used a supposedly catchy theme of a destination wedding on a yacht, stunningly attractive models, and hip and trendy music with lots of dancing throughout.

The actual product was being served to the guests instead of real food and that made no sense at all. It literally became a laughing stock in the advertising community, as well as the masses.

It was so disconnected from the brand of biscuits and their target market, that the product placement felt like an afterthought. Even the lyrics and vocals were cringy: “teri heels tera style, yeh million dollar wali smile,” and “Baby baby you’re my Chocolatto.” Let that sink in for a minute.

The ad was supposedly about a “destination wedding” that we might’ve seen in later commercials. However, this first part of the campaign featuring the engagement was so bad, that they had to unpublish it and probably won’t execute the rest of the campaign at this point.


In such a volatile industry, such shortcuts are very costly, and rightly so.

What Good Storytelling Can Do for You

The one thing that all successful campaigns have in common is exceptional storytelling that puts the brand and the product front and center. It keeps their target audience in their sights. It keeps them engaged and they remember the brand. That recall is crucial. That is what TOM is all about.

A good story crafted around the product establishes three things:

In a world full of uncertainty, especially with the pandemic decimating our idea of normal, helping ground your audience a bit can be instrumental in making your brand stand out and become memorable. Good storytelling helps you do just that by giving you the chance to familiarize your audience with your brand, by giving them something to relate to and find some modicum of normalcy in.

It can help you build a deeper connection with them with every engagement, making them feel a part of your story, your family. It can help you establish how important you really are for them, and why they would be missing out on so much if they didn’t have your product in their lives.

These three crucial elements differentiate a brand they save up for from a generic product that they would usually buy from the discount aisle.

The Power of Good Storytelling

Imagine waking up to a beautiful, crisp but frigid morning, and being greeted by a cup of hot coffee and a cozy fireplace to gear you up for the day.

Now imagine not getting that hot cup of coffee or fireplace to start your day with, and instead, having to walk to work in that freezing weather.

See the difference?

Advertising started off as a way to inform people about products and their features, a short documentary if you will, about how your offering is so useful for them. It has slowly evolved into a multi-billion dollar industry we see today, with businesses spending millions on individual ads that run on various mediums.

With that much information and data being thrown at the audience every second, it’s very easy for them to suffer an information overload. They will miss out on a lot of content that is really just more of the same. That makes it imperative to use every tool at your disposal to stand out and be more memorable.

So, why be mediocre when you could shine?

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