Who Says the Traditional ...


Classic Story Arc - storytelling

I’ve discussed in previous posts the challenge of bringing the traditional storytelling arc into business communications. Companies don’t have two hours to set the stage, tease out the plot with the requisite twists and turns before the trumpets sound with the happy ending. Often, we’re lucky to get 90 seconds, and even that depends on a clever subject header that hits the mark.

That’s why I was blown away by a video from the Thai telco, True Move, which went live on YouTube last week. Not only does it deliver the classic story arc in a tidy three minutes, the pacing feels natural. If you’re not one of nearly 8 million who have already viewed the video, it’s below:

For storytelling to captivate, you’ve got to have something go wrong or better yet, go terribly wrong. The True Move video jumps right into the bad stuff with a young boy caught shoplifting goods to help his sick mom. The hero, a restaurant owner, steps in to help the boy with the single twist coming 30 years later when the same restaurant owner collapses and the boy, now a doctor, returns the good deed.

I love the humanity in this narrative.

But does the video connect this humanity to the True Move brand? The company strives to make the connection with the closing line in the video, “Giving is the best communications.” I don’t know. It seems a bit forced.

Still, I think the feel-good story does create a halo effect for the company. You subconsciously figure that True Move cares about people.

No doubt, the company will measure the video’s impact on perception. The fact that this is the first video from True Move that includes English captions says the company wanted to raise awareness beyond Thailand’s borders. With millions of views, I’d say mission accomplished.

While I obviously don’t have access to the company’s measurement tools, Wikipedia gives us a “cheater’s” way to correlate the video to general awareness.

True Corp Wiki Score

You can see from the chart that True Move’s wiki plods along with a 100 or so views per day. The first full day of the video on YouTube spikes the number to roughly 1,600 views and subsequent days show more than 3,000 views.

Hopefully, the success of the video emboldens True Move to double down on storytelling.

I’ll be watching (from afar).


  • Justin L

    Just curious: I’m interested to hear what you might suggest for True Move to better connect this narrative with their values? Change of tagline? Storyboard overhaul?

    I totally see what you’re saying with the halo effect and this short video narrative garnering awareness and positive perception. I, too, am interested to see what tactics True Move employs for capitalizing on this positive exposure.

    Thanks for posting, Lou!

  • hoffman

    I’m not knowledgeable about sponsorships, but assume they work or companies wouldn’t keep shelling out big dollars for this type of paid media. I bring this up because the more you move a story away from a direct connection to a company’s business, the more it starts to resemble a sponsorship (as oppose to owned media).

    Given I don’t read Thai, I’ve asked our Singapore office to help me understand if “care for others” is truly one of True Move’s brand attributes. For example, the recent animated video from Chipotle has a direct tie to the restaurant’s value proposition.

    Or it could be that this is the first step in an initiative from True Move to bring this attribute to life through both behavior and branding.

    Regardless of True Move’s situation, just the benefits from “sponsorship” can have value in relationship to the overall branding effort.


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