StorySelling.


Dream Merchants to storysellers, advertising creatives made the distance. As television gained popularity, it took little time to realize that viewers are interested in entertainment and not messages. This reinvention has its inspirations drawn from the human history, a simple insight of humans being exploited by religious preachers,  travellers, wise men and grand parents: People are interested in stories than preachings, events or even morals.

Epics like “Ramayan” or even “Panchatantra” amply demonstrate the apetite for stories. Take bedtime stories for example, when a kid does something wrong we wait till its bedtime to narrate a moral story. Good moral stories are like a homeopathic pills, while the sugar coating is entertainment and medicine is the moral. This enlightenment of short Panchatantra type moral stories lead to powerful 60 seconds stories in advertising.

Here is one such advertising story I love the most, This story was written by Agnello Dias while he was with Leo Burnett six years ago. Agnello has always been a story teller but he seldom used the skills in television, this time around my nagging and pushing him has resulted in this epic story for Times of India.

When DNA launched its paper in Mumbai, Times of India wanted to reiterate the paper’s rich and long association with the country, with a brief like that, one would have fallen into dramatizing rich historic events, but Agnello came up with a brilliant observation about news papers, that they bring-in good and bad news with the same emotions. True. Look at the classified columns, you’ll see an obituary ad next to celebrating birth of a child ad. These observations lead Agnello to write story of this newspaper delivering good and bad news to the same family.

Finally it’s all about telling a great story in the simplest manner with a great insight or an observation thrown in. Whether you are writing a novel, short story, feature film or even  a 60 second spot, the rules are the same: set up a conflict and resolve them in an inspiring way.

No wonder we still love homeopathic pills.

4 thoughts on “StorySelling.

  1. Superb. For a guy who knows nothing about advertising other than enjoying good ones, this one goes into my bookmark. Like Agnello, you too told the story very well.

  2. pops…when I had seen this ad earlier I revelled in its marvellous execution but I never thought about this brilliant insight -“news papers- that they bring in good and bad news with the same emotions”.
    Loved the post.

  3. Thanks for sharing a beautiful story. We humans are hardwired as storytellers, problem solvers and decision makers. The homeopathic pill of stories is one that touches the heart and the spirit. The story pours in and we fill it with the feelings and emotions that touch us at our core.

    While we talk about selling, it is about the contribution that each of us make and that is unique for each person. Your story touched that contribution which Robert Frost so beautifully summed up in this story sometimes called a poem:

    In three words
    I can sum up everything
    I learned about life:
    It goes on.

    Thanks for sharing Pops.

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