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This isn’t about storytelling in advertising. I fucking hate the lazy, self-regarding industry rhetoric about storytelling. I fucking hate all that waffle about storytellers and their caves and campfires, the invocation of unnamed ‘ancient storytellers’, and being told that to arouse emotions and change behaviours advertising ‘must’ tell stories. A gorilla limbers up and starts playing drums. Coloured balls roll down a hill. A man tells us we could smell like him. Gerbils are shot out of a cannon. A fat kid runs down an empty road. A puppy steals a toilet roll. A bronzed man walks down a beach in Speedos. Martians laugh at humans. A man hurtles through the air in a wing suit. Things get distorted when seen through a bottle. A meerkat talks to camera. Young people gather on a hill and sing. Sofas, kitchens, and carpets are offered at low, low prices. An offer must end. If you think that any of this is a story, you need to think, as Andy Nairn has suggested, very long and very hard about the basic ingredients of a good yarn, before telling the world that we spin them for a living. No, this isn’t about fucking storytelling in advertising. It’s about something much more important.

Martin Weigel