by Meghann Johnson, Sales Manager, Business Wire Chicago
They say content is king.
If that’s the case, then the story is the castle. It’s the framework, the supporting component of any good campaign.
As such, it’s the story that advertisers, marketers and PR people need to sell, and all the other pieces (press releases, photos, videos, infographics, etc.) must work together to enhance that message and drive it home.
Nowhere is this concept more apparent than with Chipotle’s latest marketing push designed to jump-start a conversation about their brand by key constituents. Titled “The Scarecrow,” this campaign has received an immense amount of buzz not only for the sheer creativity of its content, but for the way in which it conveys the company’s story. (Disclosure: Chipotle is a Business Wire client)
The campaign consists of an arcade-style game for the iPhone and iPad supported with an animated film by Oscar-winning company, Moonbot Studios. The video features a disillusioned scarecrow who encounters a world replete of fresh, sustainable foods, only to discover that he has the power to choose how his food is created. Despite the stunning graphics and the use of a hauntingly beautiful soundtrack of Willy Wonka’s “Pure Imagination,” the video would not have garnered more than 7 million views, shares and commentary without a story that resonates across audiences.
What is the takeaway for those tasked with writing press releases, editing pitches, creating content and sharing on social media? Very simply that the primary focus, and time, should be on creating a story arc that resonates with and engages your audience to the point that they want to be your brand advocates, sharing your content with their core and secondary audiences. This includes:
- Identifying the goals you want to accomplish. Are you trying to drive awareness and brand building, content sharing, inbound traffic or purchase?
- Understanding your target audience and the types of content that compels them to engage and share, while maintaining your brand voice
- Thinking about how and where your audience will discover and share your story in order to tell it in a way that will drive conversations
- Crafting your message and ensuring it stays front and center throughout the campaign
- Building tension with the storyline to deepen the connection between your content and the intended audience. Any reporter will tell you they want to cover an issue that has two—or even three—sides
- Ensuring you have the right people lined up to speak about your topic. This could range from a mascot to the CEO depending on the audience and message you want to share
- Amplifying your story once it is launched and creating a consistent cadence of communications activities (e.g. speaking opportunities, bylines, etc.) to ensure it is heard
And of course, as with any thought provoking content, “The Scarecrow” has sparked a debate. With that, cheers to Chipotle for achieving the goal of igniting a conversation.
For more information about the use of storytelling in jump-starting awareness, engagement and purchase intent, please contact us!