YouTube Jumps on Storytelling ...


digital campfireYouTube has become synonymous with viral videos.

When I play the video association game, I think of the Old Spice man and the hilarious Coke happy machine.

Now YouTube wants to be perceived as a digital campfire for storytelling.

Toward this end, the platform is hosting a free webcast on April 21 that promises to teach how YouTube can benefit your company by serving as the modern-day campfire.

The promo copy explains:

Since the beginning of time, humans have connected through stories and in the past five years, YouTube has emerged as one of the most engaging and powerful storytelling platforms in existence. From the entertaining (Double Rainbow, JK Wedding Dance) to the political (Neda’s story) to the inspiring (the Fully Sick Rapper), the stories that have been told on YouTube are part of our cultural narrative.

Nice turn of phrase, “part of our cultural narrative.”

But I think YouTube missed an opportunity to bring its stories to life by simply hyperlinking “Double Rainbow,” “JK Wedding Dance,” etc. to the actual videos.

Instead, the three hyperlinks in the body copy take the reader to the same place, the sign-up page for the webcast. I wonder if YouTube feared moving the prospect to an entertaining video would lose the prospect’s interest in the storytelling webcast?

It’s kind of ironic.

The power of YouTube comes from touching the emotions of people to the point that they want to share the video with others.

Yet, YouTube doesn’t tap the same dynamic.


  • Dude

    Coke “happy machine” reminds me of when that happened in HS cafeteria. It wasn’t funny for the Dude who owned the machines and depended on their income for his family (He was an *avid* supporter of HS athletics for all schools he put his machines in, including $$ donations).

    Re: YouTube. Short attention spans; speed readers and speed listeners; lowered literacy rates and reading comprehension; increased entertainment online and on TV (shot to be edited – with visual effects added). I think you’ve hit on a good point: the power of emotions (this video is a good viral example:

    Ultimately, it gets back to your premise: whether in-video or in-person, the story should be succinct, focused, and well-prepared – with a beginning, middle and end. Have action and emotion. Good theater premise (in Willow Glen, Calif.) = share and throw popcorn. Smile. Tell the story with glee.

    Tell ’em what you’re going to tell ’em. Tell ’em. Tell ’em what you told ’em [Source: Jerry Weissman,


Leave a Reply