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Of Storytelling
By: Dwayne W. Waite Jr.
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In your group of friends, family, or work environment, you probably have that one person who can tell a good story. One of those people who, when it sounds like a story is about to happen, the others quickly finish their own conversation in order to listen to what that person has to say.

The same can happen with good advertising.

When you are surfing the Internet, reading articles, or watching videos, there might be an ad from a brand you know, or even like. You watch the ad, and perhaps the ad reinforces your loyalty to it, or provides no real shift of thought. It happens.

But sometimes there are those ads, those ads that tell a story, and they can be captivating.

For example, one day we were perusing somewhere online when a friend tipped us off to this "Keep Walking" ad and short film for Johnnie Walker in partnership with BBH. Once we watched it, we were hooked.

It's not just the brand that can make the ad, but how the story is presented, developed, and told. Storytelling is an art, but we think that the way the art can be applied could be considered scientific, and that shouldn't be a bad thing.

As communicators, we have a duty to do justice to the art of storytelling. We are presenting to consumers our brand's story, in hopes that they see something — some element, some character, some concept — that appeals to the story that they are writing for themselves. We must think carefully, yet creatively. How will our brand tie in a consumer's story? How can we make them stop in their tracks and listen?

How can we encourage them to ignore the clutter, the conversations from other brands, in order to listen to us?

It all comes with an engaging, moving story. Something we can all work on.

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About the Author
Dwayne W. Waite Jr. is partner and principal at JDW: The Charlotte Agency, a marketing and advertising shop in Charlotte, NC. He enjoys consumer behavior, economics, and football.
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