Storytelling in Advertising: Let Oscar Show You the Way

Oscar award statueAdvertising-as-interruption is over. We connect brands to customers by telling engaging and entertaining stories that audiences actually want to hear.

These are words from Kirk Cheyfitz, CEO of Story Worldwide. He’s absolutely right, and advertisers and marketers everywhere have been trying to figure out ways to reach customers through storytelling.

The Academy Awards show Sunday night used storytelling quite well to keep viewers interested in the broadcast.

Stars shared memories and thoughts about their first exposure to movies, their favorite movies, their favorite movie moments and more. Many starts participated—Adam Sandler, Viola Davis, Jonah Hill, Barbra Streisand, Don Rickles, Robert Downey, Jr., and many, many more.

Snaphot of Viola Davis interview at Oscars

Not only did we get to see these actors in a more personal light, but they also added some new spark to categories viewers typically don’t care much about.

Categories like “Make-up” and “Costume Design” were accompanied by video of the stars of some of the nominated movies explaining why the nominated make-up artists and costume designers make such a difference.

Who knew Meryl Streep has been with her hair and make-up guy J. Roy Helland for decades? Knowing that made it even more special when both Streep and Helland won awards for their work.

These video clips were nicely meshed with the nominee introductions. They were interesting and added life to usually lifeless Oscar moments.

Ask yourself:

  • What are the lifeless moments in your advertising that could be enhanced by storytelling?
  • What are your customers longing to know about your company or your product?
  • What would surprise them or entertain them?

Take a cue from Oscar night and add more storytelling to your advertising mix. But make sure your stories are real and relevant. Storytelling is about building relationships, making your audience interested enough to keep coming back.


Check out the Academy Awards website to see some of Oscar’s “Movie Moments.”


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