Advertising that evokes emotion will always rank higher than information presented in a lackluster manner. Emotion sells brands. In fact, studies show that television ads that appeal to emotions influence people three times more to purchase brands than ads that don’t. This is why storytelling has become the marketing buzzword and branding superstar of the decade.

Connecting your audience to your brand is what storytelling can do better than most techniques, if done properly. After all, the purpose of all branding is to provide a solution to an existing frustration, inconvenience or demand. So, it is highly effective when it clearly demonstrates the exhilaration the buyer will feel when they use the product or service.

The “before and after” technique was popular in the past; however customers became suspicious when airbrushing and photoshopping started being known as common tools of the advertising trade. Conversely, storytelling feels, looks and sounds much more genuine. It’s like watching your favorite characters and shows.

If you’re a Saturday Night Live fan, you’ve probably noticed how brand advertising is often included in the skits and ad parodies this past year or two. No one expects real product advertising to be included in comedic material, so the element of surprise and humor increase its effectiveness. Of course, there are many successful storytelling ads, such as Progressive Auto Insurance with Flo the salesperson, and Nike, the company that practically originated the technique when Michael Jordan was its spokesperson. But most memorable approach was narrated by Spike Lee and followed the story of a young soccer player in New York City. We are reminded that there are possibilities for every one of us – as long as we keep moving toward our dreams and wear Nikes.

Here’s the rub: It isn’t easy for brands to create content that evokes emotion and desire. If the story isn’t interesting or engaging, it’s not going to bring in new customers. If the story isn’t congruent with the key messages of the brand, then it won’t build equity and will waste money. You want customers to connect with the story so they will want to be a part of it. Many companies fall short and end up confusing and often losing their audience. Bad brand storytelling can be fixed, but turning customers’ minds around takes more time and money.

Best Brand Storytelling Guidelines

  • What type of content will connect your audience to your brand? If the product seriously solves a problem, you wouldn’t use humor, right? Conversely, you would want to use humor or light hearted stories to promote products that entertain, such as games, apps, music.
  • Isolate the human element of your brand? What solves a problem? How does it make people’s lives better?
  • Make sure your audience can relate to the characters.
  • The brand is not the hero, the person using it is. You want to demonstrate the outcome and have your viewers thinking, “I want to feel like that too!”
  • Your story should include characters with unsolved issues or problems and, of course, a hero!
  • Do not consider using a complex storyline. Less is more; simplicity rules.
  • Work with advertising professionals who understand effective storytelling.

The final check point must be answered sincerely – would you watch, listen or read it?

At Evoke Idea Group, we excel in the art of the story. We take an intricate look at the human elements of your brand and bring them to life. If you are currently using storytelling and not getting a good ROI, let us help! We can freshen up your existing brand’s marketing materials or develop new, depending on your needs. Contact us today for a complimentary 30-minute consultation at: or (630) 639-8985. You can trust we will always go the extra mile!


About Evoke Idea Group, LLC

Evoke Idea Group, LLC is a full-service design and marketing creative agency providing award-winning marketing communications and graphic design solutions since 1996. For more than two decades, we’ve helped mid-to-large size B2B and B2C companies, marketing departments and breakout companies captivate and convert customers through print and digital campaigns. We serve a wide range of clients on a national, regional, and local basis.

We are in the business of bringing awareness to brands and helping to grow companies through strategic marketing, digital marketing, advertising, web design, video and graphic design services. Our fresh, creative approaches are translated through: graphic design, logo design, website design, advertisements, infographics, digital marketing, social media marketing, web banner ads, print materials, flyers, case studies, sell sheets, posters, brochures, branding and identity, brand guidelines, packaging, trade show booths, exhibit graphics, video and animated motion graphics.

Our full-service advertising agency provides freelance marketing communications and graphic design solutions throughout Arizona, Phoenix, Cave Creek, Mesa, Scottsdale, Glendale, Tucson, Peoria, Prescott, Flagstaff, Northern Arizona, St. Charles, Geneva, Batavia, Aurora, Naperville, Wheaton, Glen Ellyn, Hinsdale, Oak Brook, Elgin, Schaumburg, DeKalb, Joliet, Chicago, Chicago Suburbs, Maricopa County, Yavapai County, Coconino County, Pima County, DuPage County, Kane County, Lake County, Will County, McHenry County, DeKalb County, Cook County, Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Iowa, the Midwest, the Southwest, USA and worldwide.