The Sport of Storytelling

We’ve all been there. You watch a tv spot that’s so artfully done and creates such emotional intensity that by the time it’s over you’re blinking like crazy and trying hard to swallow the lump in your throat before anyone notices that you almost cried at a commercial of all things.

Storytelling in advertising is not new, but it does seem to be having a beautiful resurgence, especially in the world of sports. Events like the World Cup and the Olympics always bring out the best in storytelling ads, but plenty of brands are using this strategy to create a deeper connection with their audiences even without worldwide events.

Two of our favorites right now are Chevy’s “Mo’ne Davis: Throw Like a Girl” spot and Gatorade’s “Made in New York” goodbye to Derek Jeter.

In both spots, the story is front and center. The sports hero is the focus, not the brand. Neither Davis nor Jeter specifically mention or endorse the brands. Chevy and Gatorade are taking the opportunity to move the audience with a powerful story that, like sports, unites everyone. And with a simple flash of the logo at the end, they connect those powerful emotions with their brand. Certainly not everyone can pull this off, but it’s a luxury that worldwide, household brands do seem to have. In a world where consumers are more and more difficult to captivate, it’s a pretty smart way to break through the clutter and keep the brand top of mind.


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