Why are stories so powerful in copywriting, marketing, advertising?

Stories are nailed into our brains right from when we are wee young things.

They are how we make sense of everything. From a very early age, we poked around, learned what things are, and linked things up:

We grew up drawing pictures of the stories of our lives. Kids in warzones draw guns in their stories; others draw smiley suns. Psychologists use the stories from play, to analyse kids’ psychologies.

A story is the linking of event-A to event-B to event-C, etc, with all the zillions of other stuff cut out. A story is a thought-experiment: what happens when there’s A then B then C…?

Thought experiments help us make plans — the more we’ve sussed things out with thought experiments, the more we can figure out what will happen if we do A then B then C. And plans help us do better in life. They are fundamental to survival and to success.

Maybe that’s why we enjoy films, and books, and stories in conversation. Because survival of the fittest has made the story flick on the pleasure switches in our brains — so that we learn. So we can survive and prosper.

We are each the center of our own stories, of course. And when you make your product integral to our story, you are keying into the fundamentals of how we understand the world.

This type of thinking is what drives good copywriting: in ads, in direct marketing, in website copy. Sometimes it’s about ‘telling’ a story. But not always. With Richard‘s Vodafone Hole Through The Earth, for example, it’s about ‘being’ a part of people’s stories; being a part of the excitement in their day:

And here’s how Lay’s (Walker’s) can help make you a part of a story of a potato, towards the end of the potato’s life — so that Lay’s / Walker’s is a part of your story and your life:


If you Like this post, please click Like or Tweet or +1 :)  –Thanks.



Some other posts on the Wordfruit blog:

Can You Help Create a Hole Through the Earth?

Little Pig, Let me in. Advertising that passes the so-what test

What can you learn from 5-year-old art directors?

Hey Look At Me. I’m a Copywriter!

Copywriters are not the only Creatives

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

Who can help your business innovate?

Good copywriters take time to twiddle with their things

How Copywriters come up with your campaign ideas

How technology can change writing

Your Copywriter will steal your electricity for the idea factory

Copywriters, Kids, and Innovators — Wise Fools Who Know How To Smoke

A Blind Sculptress Could Beat Your Copywriting

About Richard Clunan

I run Wordfruit. My background is in copywriting, marketing, and design. Wordfruit is a specialist copywriter recruitment site for a global market, through which you connect with only Top-class copywriters. I always want to know how we can do things better. I appreciate your comments.

13 Responses to Why are stories so powerful in copywriting, marketing, advertising?

  1. Paul Alexander says:

    Hi Mate,
    Greetings from OZ…Came across you via your post on Ad Digi.
    Liked your words on storytelling – especially the bit about people making Plans being thought experiments. More please
    Paul A

  2. Shahab says:

    Great post! loved the video too! Thanks!

  3. Danny says:

    It’s a good story.

    Thanks for sharing.

  4. Love the video. The Lays machine is awesome! Just a note, I think you have a grammatical error on one of the camera cards:

    With Lay’s Is Just The Opposite.

    Shouldn’t it be: With Lay’s It’s Just the Opposite

    But I really like the concept and execution. Great job!

  5. Mark Renusch says:

    That’s just pure genius. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Pingback: Why are stories so powerful in copywriting, marketing, advertising? | Story and Narrative | Scoop.it

  7. Sylvia says:

    Can I have one of those in my home, right by my bed so when I watch TV it’ll be very handy! Loved this!

  8. Pingback: 3 Cool Things: # 4 | 1000heads: The Word of Mouth People

  9. Tony Llewellyn says:

    I came across the blog whilst looking for some help trying to explain why stories are the best way to help lawyers and engineers cross sell. Very helpful. The video was a bonus.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>