ishmaels corner

Category: Storytelling Theory


Deconstructing the Storytelling in Budweiser’s Legendary Super Bowl Ad

Communication professionals can learn a ton about storytelling from our advertising brothers. When you’re shelling out $4 million and change to create a single ad, it has a way of tuning one’s senses, a dynamic that typically doesn’t exist when PR crafts a pitch or writes a news release. With this in mind, I wanted …more

Top Storytelling Posts for the First Half of 2017 (Part II)

I shared half of my top posts for the first half of 2017 last week. Here’s the second half, starting with the star of today’s reality TV shows, President Trump. . . 6. Trump’s Job Description for Press Secretary: Make Communications Great Again Given how many times President Trump has thrown Sean Spicer under the bus, …more

Scientific Study Correlates Storytelling to Gender-specific Outcomes

I’ve been thinking about The Wall Street Journal article, “Why Good Storytellers Are Happier in Life and Love.” The story cites new research from the Journal of Personal Relationships — when my wife says I subscribe to everything, I now have a credible retort — that shows women find men who are good storytellers more …more

Should HR Be Telling Stories?

I’m not referring to fiction or fabrication. The question relates to the role of storytelling techniques in the HR function. The question also happened to be the thrust of my talk at the Alexander Mann Solutions (AMS) conference last week in Hong Kong. It turns out that one can make an argument for HR more …more

Removing the Tension from the Budweiser Puppy Love Video (Literally)

I love talking about failure in the context of business storytelling. It’s a tough one for executives because it’s counterintuitive. You never hear about a company hiring a PR agency “to get the bad word out.” Yet, the ability to bring failure or even a problem to the narrative is what separates industrial-grade storytelling from …more

What Came First in Business, the Story or the Deed?

Bloomberg Businessweek published an article by Ty Montague back in September, “Is Your Company a Storyteller? Or a Storydoer?” After a quick scan, I determined the piece focused on storytelling in business and tweeted out the link. In a weird juxtaposition of social sharing, a retweet of my original missive (thank you Runar from Oslo) …more

Business Storytelling Lessons from the Budweiser “Puppy Love” Ad

A good percent of the U.S. population has watched the Budweiser “puppy love” ad that ran during the Super Bowl. At last count, YouTube views were about to crack the 50,000,000 mark. I believe that qualifies as a viral video. What exactly in the video caused so many people to watch and share? Of course, …more

Attention K-Mart Bloggers: Great Storytelling Alone Won’t Build an Audience

No blogger, including me, wants to toil in obscurity. Those of us who work under the marketing umbrella adhere to this twist on the “Field of Dreams” adage, “If you build it, people won’t necessarily come.” It’s now time for an update with a fresh wrinkle: Specifically, many RELEVANT people still won’t come. When it …more