The new 2011 Chrysler 200 commercial is an excellent example of a company that uses story-telling to sell a car. The ad first appeared during the 2011 superbowl and caused sales to skyrocket 205% compared to the previous month. In march, sales went up an additional 191% with finally April selling 22% more cars than March.
What I really like about the commercial is that their not trying to sell a car. They’re selling a belief. They’re making people believe what they believe about the car and what driving a 200 means. In the commercial there is no trivial semantics about gas mileage, or engine details. They’re selling to the deeper part of the human brain, they’re selling to the lizard brain, the why engine.
The most powerful tool in marketing today is story telling. Never before has one story been able to reach so many consumers, and it doesn’t need to cost 9 million dollars to produce. Story telling has been a crux of China’s culture for millennium. When the Pearl River tower was erected the Architects were commissioned to create a traditional Chinese story behind it, because it was going to drastically change the landscape – they needed the people to accept it.
Having a clear sense of why allows a company to take advantage of the strongest type of advertising – story-telling. It challenges conventional advertising where companies should tell customers what they have – but by stirring an inner love and belief for anything will always be a 100x stronger than telling people you have 24gb of ram or 14 kilos/liter. A story will help you cement your position, just make sure your communicating the right one.
A good story can be created and communicated virtually for free over the internet. Once you stir interest in people, people will spread the word for you – and word never gets spread among the masses when there is to much technical detail.
Several ways I’d look at spreading a companies vision is through written word, a video, a flash game, community involvement – it all depends on your budget and the market your looking at.