ThinkTank Blog

Apple’s Christmas Ad: Why Storytelling Works

Posted by King Fish Media on Mon, Dec 23, 2013
I spend a lot of time talking about storytelling and why it is a superior form of marketing to the traditional sales focused ads. You know the kind, ads from car companies and retailers telling you to buy often and buy now.  Storytelling goes hand in hand with content marketing as an approach to change perception, build trust and drive customers to action.  It does this by creating an emotional connection with the customer.

Storytelling works because it is how we are hard wired to learn – our earliest memories are of hearing stories, fables and myths from parents and teachers.  Storytelling is effective because when we hear the story we instinctually put ourselves into the narrative.  How we would react?  How is this like my experiences? Is this something I aspire to?  

All of these elements are present in this holiday ad from Apple.  There has been some online debate over its effectiveness and the usual groans from Apple haters, no doubt tweeting it on their giant Samsung phone.  My point is to illustrate the power of a narrative with a beginning, middle and twist at the end.  The key to the impact of this story is that everyone can see themselves in the ad from their point of view – the grandmother, the parents, the older sister and of course the seemingly sullen teen.  If smartphones and the web existed in 1980, I would have been that kid, my head down lost in my world.  Of course he surprises us at the end, evoking emotion from everyone.  The choice of music is perfect, as it stirs something in just about everyone. Another strength is that it is on brand for Apple.  Their brand promise is about enhancing people’s lives through technology - mission accomplished.

Final ThinkTank post of 2013, have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.  See you in 2014.

Tags: Marketing, Content, Media/Advertising Trends, Viral Marketing

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