Let’s talk about storytelling?

Our second guest is Daniela Pereira, who is also a key player in the partnership and evolution of Studio Venturas. Before the conversation about Storytelling begins, let her introduce herself.

My pleasure! I graduated in Journalism from UFF and have a post-graduate degree in Marketing from COPPEAD-Rio.

I am Director of Digital Strategy at FSB, co-creator of Apezinho (www.apezinho.com.br), a nice blog about leaving home, and of As Pereiras (https://aspereiras.com/), a communication consultancy. Since 2021, I have been teaching Content Marketing in the Digital Marketing course at COPPEAD-Rio.

I went through the financial, service, technology, and entertainment markets. For the past 11 years, until October 2019, I was Relationship Manager at Rede Globo, responsible for creating, executing, monitoring and measuring the Brand’s relationship strategy with its on and offline audiences.

What do I like? To work in the collective. Of transformative projects. Of communication with affection. And to learn. The journey so far has been quite an experience. What is to come will be even better.

Let's talk about storytelling?

Let’s go! It is a great joy to be here with you from Studio Venturas to talk about storytelling. He made me think that we are immersed in narratives since we are born, and there is nothing better than a good “storytelling” to start affectionate relationships and build good memories.

What is storytelling?

Creating narratives is a human ability!

  • In the Mouth Stories from when we were children;
  • In the trololó, lero-lero, and small talk of the chatting circles of family and friends;
  • In school and university performances;
  • In professional life, when we defend ideas, projects, business strategies;
  • In the way we translate life for ourselves!
“Creating narratives is a human skill!”

How does the concept of storytelling speak to building a brand?

Let’s go back a bit in history for you to understand the whole picture before we go back to the present times.

Classical narrative, or the way of telling a story, owes its genesis to the aesthetic theory of the Greek philosopher Aristotle (384 BC).

The Poetics
he studies epic, tragedy, and comedy to establish the canons of classical narrative. It is a treatise on how to narrate, how to tell a story and get the attention, involvement, complicity, understanding, and emotion of the audience for whom the story is intended.

Linear structure with beginning, middle, and end. Exposition, conflict, resolution + turning point and climax.

Then came a very special guy who changed everything!

Joseph Campbell was an American writer who devoted himself to studying the meaning of mythical heroes and found in these characters a unique narrative formula.

His work that introduced the Hero’s Journey (1949) to the world was the result of years of study on myths and religions of various civilizations. Campbell analyzed stories such as Jesus, Buddha, and even fairy tales.

The author has discovered a narrative pattern that revolves around the figure of the hero, from a psychoanalytic viewpoint. In the book “The Hero of a Thousand Faces”, Campbell explains his theory based on Jung’s archetypes and Freud’s unconscious forces.

I asked Edu Araujo, screenwriter and dear friend, which Hero’s Journey scheme he liked best and he chose this one:

The term Storytelling was born in the USA as a digital communication tool in 1993.

It is not difficult to understand why this millennial habit has gained space as a strategic tool in the business world. Advertising and communication needed to innovate: in such a technological age, combining elements that generate empathy and connection with a marketing idea became essential.

Story = Creation
Telling = Narratives and formats

In other words, the term storytelling turns 30 years old in 2023.

Do you know the difference between storytelling for fiction and for brands?

The one in fiction is “And they lived happily ever after”. The one for brands is “come to the promised land with me!”

Is Storytelling for brand building a concept you've seen for a long time? Why do you think these two universes got hitched?

This concept is gaining more and more space. If you stop to think about it, the brands that influence us the most are those that, in some way, have affected us through their content.

Remembering the origin of the word affection:

Affect is the biological basis of emotions and feelings. It is something more generic that encompasses everything we feel. We are born with affective capacity, and not only rational capacity. Affectivity is about being able to feel emotions and feelings.”

This affection can be good or bad, right? But it is the one that catches our attention, generates some kind of reaction, arouses our interest, affection, and when we see it, we become ambassadors, fans, passionate advocates.

Who takes care of it over time? Does this become rules, or a manifesto? How can you be sure that there is a narrative being told constantly?

The basis of good storytelling begins with building the strategic positioning of the brand. Without it, what we will have are creative efforts, full of good intentions, but uncoordinated.

So let’s go back to basics: any brand needs to have core messages, communication objectives, target audiences, persona, and tone of voice.

From this map, we develop action plans with deliverables. Then the sky is the limit! We can have an endless number of “deliverables” that will tell the story of this brand through:

  • Manifesto
  • Videos/ Webseries/ Pills
  • Lectures
  • Podcasts
  • Primers/ articles/ book/ ebooks
  • Social media content
  • Emailmarketing
  • Games
  • Events
  • Playlists
    MOOH (out-of-home media)
  • AI / Augmented Reality
  • Experiences
  • Activation/ relationship actions
“any brand needs to have core messages, communication objectives, target audiences, persona and tone of voice.”

Do you think that once the company creates a great narrative of itself, it affects it financially?
Are there studies that link good storytelling with higher profits?

Recently, Meio e Mensagem magazine published the most creative brands of 2022. They stood out for their purposes, ideas, and flags (everything to do with what we are talking about, right?).

Brahma – appreciation of the Brazilian identity
Burger King – games and series, colabs, on and offline actions
Guaraná Antarctica – support to sports with humorous actions with soccer players, influencers such as coaches, fans and “intervention” in the soda’s flavor to bring luck to the national team, its friends and family
Itaú – emotion with baby Alice and Fernanda Montenegro, gamer universe, sponsorship in face-to-face events (RIR) and of the soccer team
Mercado Livre – diversity and social impact with support for movements such as Feira Preta, artists such as Djonga, Tássia Reis and Pabllo Vittar, and encouragement of sports with a partnership with the Gol de Letra Foundation
McDonald’s – actions at BBB, with artists (besides Tite and Luva de Pedreiro) presenting how they consume their snacks and famous people’s audios being sent through Méqui Zap
Netflix – releases with bets on nostalgia, facts like the moon eclipse, colabs, activation of Wandinha’s “Little Hand” scaring people in town etc.
Nubank – playful look to the future (Emicida as spokesperson), motivational/dreams (World Cup sponsorship) and creation of a sweepstakes tool (7MM customers participated)
Santander – indebtedness and debt renegotiation were the elected themes (with testimonials from ex-BBBs), besides investment in gamers
Spotify – various colabs with partners like Cabana Burger, iFood and Kibon, playlists associated with users’ location, podcasts

It is important to leave here a big and important warning: narratives affect results. But if the discourse is far from the practice of the brand, no manifesto, no baby, no pet, no smile, no flower can solve the problem. Perhaps that is the big difference these days. A storytelling does not hold reprehensible behavior.

But! A quick, honest and structured mistake can change everything. And life will move on. Time, almost always, is a good friend.

Beyond brands, are leaders expected to be good storytellers? Do you think this changes the way your brand is received and interpreted?

Yes! Today brands and their leaders go hand in hand, LinkedIn is there to not let us lie. Besides them, their employees have also entered this virtuous circle. This is one of the biggest trends of 2022: employer branding. Companies have realized that their biggest advocates are in-house. And they are structuring themselves to provide them with recognition and content to be shared. It is good for everyone, attracts sympathy, and helps build the “employer brand”. Without looking like an advertisement.

“It is important to leave here a big and important warning: narratives affect results. But if the discourse is far from the practice of the brand, no manifesto, baby, pet, smile, or flower can solve the problem. Maybe this is the big difference these days. A storytelling does not hold reprehensible behaviors.”

For those who work with marketing inside a company, what tips would you give to familiarize themselves with this concept?

I would give the tips that I give to my dear students in the COPPEAD classes. These links are worth gold!

Why Leadership = Storytelling

Pixar’s Rules of Storytelling Applied to Product Managers & UX Designers

What good examples of storytelling for brands are out there?

Ah, there are many links with lists! I will share this one and give my like to Dove, which has been building such a beautiful storytelling that it is worth our applause.

And finally, where else can we learn about storytelling? Who talks about it?

Fewer people than I would like! But following are two goddesses that will stir your affections. <3

Ted with Shonda Rhimes on the Future of Storytelling

Jennifer Aaker: The Power of Story

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