Storytelling Taken a Step Further…

@ritadynan had posted this article, 7 Basic Types of Stories: Which One Is Your Brand Telling? Creatives explore humans’ archetypal plots, on her Pinterest page.

According to this article and an Advertising Week panel hosted by TBWA, an international advertising agency based in New York City, there are only seven different types of storytelling.  The biggest challenge is not only in telling a story about your brand and deciphering between content and context, but in deciding which type of storytelling best suits the brand of your institution.  This then of course must be told “skillfully, believably and – if you’re going to invite consumers to join in the story – extremely carefully.”  The seven basic types of storytelling  are as follows:

1. Overcoming the Monster

  • This is the classic underdog story and in many cases, this can rightly match the image of a nonprofit

2. Rebirth

  • Here, a company will tell a tale of renewal.  For example, a nonprofit museum can tell a story of revival – representing the organization as an exciting lively place for interactive learning, not one of an outdated solely intellectual and often  an intimidating atmosphere with no fun which is how many viewers see it.

3. Quest

  • Here, the article exams the mission and discusses IBM and their idea of making a smarter planet.  All non-profit art museums have a clear mission – they can do more than state this mission in their content and can tell a story about it as a self-professed passionate quest

4. Journey and Return

  • Think of transformation.  This is all about helping the customers discover a new place in life, changing perceptions and expanding the consciousness.  What better place to expand the mind and reflect on life than a place dedicated to works of art that do just that?  Non-profit art institutions should use this to their advantage, pushing their “products” on a deeper level.

5. Rags to Riches

  • This is where institutions can tell tales of “rising from the ashes.”  Although some non-profit art institutions are extremely well-established, there are thousands of others that started from nothing and displayed strong growth establishing themselves as thriving organizations.  They can use this fighting story to their advantage in their advertising to connect with visitors.

6. Tragedy

  • According to this article, not many institutions can use this type of plot except in PSA work, but if you have shocking tales or depressing stories to tell, people can develop a strong connection with these messages.

7. Comedy

  • Opposite to tragedy and more difficult to implement, but extremely effective, is comedy.  Here are two examples, the first a print example from the Museum of Communism in Prague showing Karl Marx at home.  The second, a Youtube video done by the Philadelphia Museum of Art showing their employees performing a parody of the 2012 viral ‘Gangnam Style.’ Image



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