Tell the Story, Give the Brand Warmth

Brand image is woven from stories written by the company, pop culture, influencers and customers. In the past, the brand stories of the digital entertainment industry were replete with the story of the founder, R&D team or spokesperson. In recent years, leading brands have all started changing their brand content strategy to put the spotlight back on the user. Moving user experiences are used to create a brand image with warm and build up consumer support.  

The Moving Story of Google

“If we did not make you cry, we failed!” said Lorraine Twohill, Google’s global marketing vice-president . Using moving stories to market a brand was once thought odd for cold, high-tech products. But Google’s moving ads successfully gave the brand warmth and a human touch. For example, in the “Zetigest 2013” produced every year, Google went through trillions of search records to compile the people, events and objects that attracted the most attention during the year. It then relived those exciting, painful, surprising and courageous moments with the users through film. This expressed the brand value of caring about society and proved that Google was fulfilling its mission – to help the user find the information they need. 

Zeitgeist 2013

Having experienced how storytelling can create an emotional bond, Google has begun encouraging users to tell stories in recent years so that the Google brand can be associated with storytelling. At this year’s Oscars, Google launched the ad “We’re All Storytellers”. Toy Story producer Andrew Stanton set the tone with “We all love to hear stories, we are born for stories” and encouraged the audience to record the moment when stories happen. Google is also strengthening the storytelling association with their products. From the Google+ Stories app that automatically integrated travel photos and Google+ messages into a single storybook, to the new Tour Builder function that allowed users to add travel stories to Google Map, these all demonstrated Google’s push to help users write stories and become a part of the user’s story. 

We’re All Storytellers
Google+ Stories
Sony: The Product is an Endless Story

Now approaching its 70th year, Sony is adept at using storytelling to emphasize its brand history, heritage as well as touch the heart. The latest corporate image advertising “Join Together” conveyed how Sony has remained true to the collaboration of artist and engineer during product development in order to create experiences that touch your heart. The other Sony Experia ad then tried to awaken customer loyalty and emphasized the good times that the consumer had enjoyed with Sony over the years. From watching rockets take off on the Sony TV box, playing PS video games with friends, or using a camera to film the fall of the Berlin Wall, Sony used a storytelling approach to take the audience on a journey into the past. This told the audience that Sony products will continue to extend this heart-touching moment and remained true to the new brand slogan – “be moved”. 

Sony Join Together
Sony  Xperia™ Z TV Ad

Apart from using people and events to tell stories, Sony’s tens of thousands of products are main characters in the brand story as well. On the brand’s image site (Sony.com/BEMOVED), the story of Sony products are used to communicate the company’s R&D philosophy. The Sony Archives in Tokyo also uses Sony products that defined their era to tell stories, such as first radio in Japan, the classic personal media player like the Walkman and the first color TV. These were all aimed at associating the Sony brand with long history and continuous innovation. 

Consumers have become brand-oriented in recent years. Digital entertainment brands are now using the consumer’s story to build their brand image. This was unlike functional and performance brand associations made in the past. By telling stories, the brands can be made more romantic to consumers. In addition to telling stories through conventional ads and copies, these digital entertainment brands were trying to tell a story about the product itself and give the product warmth and character. 


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