What’s your Story?: a tale of two narratives, and a big lesson in the power of narrative via Jamie Oliver and Thank You Group

ah the power of the story.

take the above. a video from Thank You – an organisation that, on discovering that 900 million people didn’t have access to safe drinking water, came up with a bold idea to create a bottled water company that would exist for the sole purpose of funding safe water projects in developing nations.

that was 2008. and now, having diversified into muesli and body care products, an organisation faced with the job of communicating that change to new and potential customers. the solution … not the best video ever made, but a genuinely authentic, honest and transparent one. real people in a real situation with a little novelty, script and editing thrown in.

it comes only a week after B&T reported that struggling Aussie vegetable farmers were ‘pleading’ with Jamie Oliver to intervene on their behalf and encourage Woolies to refund the marketing levy they were being charged to fund his ad campaign for the supermarket.

where do you start? no really … the dominance of the supermarket oligopoly? the David and Goliath struggle of growers and distributors? the relevance of the UK-based Oliver (who is awesome and who has done genuinely amazing things for healthy eating efforts) in all of this? the scale of paid versus the engagement and authenticity of earned media?

well I guess like any good story you start at the beginning …

once upon at time there was the story. we told stories that saved our ancestors from being trampled by wildebeest or running off of a cliff. then our stories took on moral and ethical dimensions, they passed on information and knowledge and created archetypes to which we still relate.

… our stories became assimilated by nation states and groups of individuals to describe and define identity. they communicated our struggles and challenges and victories and journeys, on every media, in every society and community on the planet. language was our first technology, and communication – of our hopes, fears and ideas – has become a defining factor of the human condition.

and so we arrive at two very different brand and marketing stories, the dissection and evaluation of which is less important than the lesson their juxtaposition invites: stories are ancient, powerful, emotional and transformative things,

… make sure you’re part of a good one.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s