Stories are powerful. In a world where we are all bombarded by thousands of pieces of advertising each and every day, Chinese and Western brands respectively have often turned to storytelling as a means to cut through the advertising ‘noise’ and engage with consumers on a deeper level.
Storytelling has always been quite prevalent in East Asian advertising, just last week we posted a very touching story-centric commercial from Thai Life Insurance. Three big Chinese organisations have recently also followed the principle and placed stories at the core of their recent advertising campaigns.
First up is a TV commercial from First Automobile Works (FAW) – a Chinese vehicle manufacturer. The advert (below) celebrates the organisation’s 55th Anniversary. It presents the story of the company and shows how its success and development has very much intertwined with that of Mainland China over the last 50 years. The commercial has already received over 2 million hits on Youku at time of writing.
Watch on Youku
Next is another TVC that celebrates an organisation’s anniversary. It comes from GF Securities, a Chinese financial firm, and the TVC commemorates the success of it being in business for 20 years. Here it is below:
The third and final commercial is a little shorter than the two above but nonetheless tells an emotive story. The ad promotes Tenpay (essentially a Chinese equivalent of PayPal).
When a story creates a strong emotional response with the consumer it can lead to greater affinity with a brand. Steve Jobs in his famous keynote speeches wins over his audience not through fancy PowerPoints or even the products (though they do help) but through the stories he tells.
Using storytelling as a marketing idea has been around for a while, but it is still widely discussed and encouraged today. Actor and now director Robert Redford at this year’s Cannes Advertising Festival spent most of his keynote speech talking about the power of stories and how important it is for brands to focus on them.
Look at it this way, there is nothing really interesting about insurance products but what people can get interested in is the story about how an insurance company came about. Consumers can relate to and feel connected to the organisation through a story. They can also better understand what the company believes in and where its values come from.
A number of commentators see storytelling as the “new advertising”, and some ad agencies have based themselves around the idea (e.g. the aptly named ‘Story‘). Storytelling is not a passing trend, as the American poet Muriel Rukeyser put it, “The universe is made up of stories, not of atoms.”
Before we finish here are two Chinese and Taiwanese commercials launched earlier this year, each with powerful stories at their heart, that were greatly praised by Chinese and Western netizens. Click the links for information.
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