Last week as I was mindlessly scrolling through different channels on TV, my finger stopped when I saw this ad. I’d probably seen close to 200 ads combined over the Internet, TV and magazines that week yet only this one caught my attention and stayed with me as did the name of the business: CGU Insurance.
The question is why did I only remember this ad out of a possible 200 I’d seen that week?

Even though the ad starts with a fact: 33% of Australia businesses are owned by migrants, the story that follows is an emotional one of hope and triumph. One that many migrants (including myself) can relate to. It also starts a positive conversation about migrants’ contribution in Australia.
The ad using a personal story connects beautifully with a product that all small businesses need: insurance. It humanises insurance – something that many people buy without any emotional connection to the product/service. Buying insurance is like doing your taxes, it needs to be done but it’s nothing to be shouted about from the rooftops. This CGU ad shows insurance can make a difference in someone’s business and impacts lives.
The ad works because of its moving narrative – both images and soundtrack combine to form a memorable story which sticks in the customer’s mind. I may not have considered buying business insurance ever from CGU (I had never heard of them before) but I’ll definitely consider them when it comes time to choose an insurer.
Science says that human beings are wired to tell and absorb stories harking from our cavemen days. Many cultures around the world still use stories to communicate their way of life and wisdom to others. I grew up hearing stories like Why the chameleon can change colours and why the tiger has stripes. Stories I still remember and tell my own children – it’s an emotional connection to my own childhood and makes me happy.
Storytelling can win you customers
Many clients are still unaware of how powerful storytelling can help forge a connection with customers whether it’s through blogs, or videos or even case studies. They are hesitant to create content using storytelling perhaps because they’re worried they might come across as unprofessional.
On the contrary, weaving stories into corporate narrative can create trust with customers and lead to desired actions and behaviours. So if you want them to do something, tell them the right story. You can do this by:

  • sharing the company’s past and present stories through employees
  • using images to tell the story – show, don’t tell
  • create a suspense in the story building up to a finale
  • show emotions through characters
  • use a powerful song/soundtrack to play alongside the story as it unfolds
  • sharing other customers’ stories – NFPs do this very well
  • end the story positively – leave the audience feeling good
  • engage the audience’s senses by giving sensory details

Storytelling can help you stand out from your competitors and more importantly keep you top of mind when it comes time for the customer to choose a product or service.
According to a study by Stanford University, people remember information up to 22 times more when it is weaved into a story rather than telling them facts alone.
Create a deeper connection with customers using storytelling techniques instead of dry, hard facts.
What’s the most powerful storytelling ad you’ve ever seen? Tell me in the comments.