In the late 90s, there was a dialog-free stop motion called ‘Prometheus and Bob’ ran on Nickelodeon. At the time, this three-minute show was the shortest, but the favorite animation of mine. Each episode, Prometheus, the alien of advanced intelligence, would try to show the caveman Bob a taste of civilization by educating him. Each time was a different lesson and each try would follow up with the same failure. P’s arrogance never exceeded the walls of B’s stupidity. Just when you think there might be a crumb of hope for success, meddling chimpanzee would show up from nowhere, with his mischievous attitude, it would make sure that Bob fails once again.
As Prometheus taught kids like me what patience is, it also showed how frustrating failure can be, especially hard work is considered a ‘virtue’ fueled with the motivation called success.
Yet if the act of hard work here reveals itself as interruptive and intrusive as if to teach & sell an idea, it will more likely that the style of approach will turn into a defeat every time you get up to try it again. How many times did you force your baby to eat and it only make he/she take it all out because he/she wasn’t actually hungry?
Now, let me jump into a seemingly irrelevant topic yet actually pertinent one. Let’s proceed…
The masterpiece of architecture Gaudi. Visited by more than 2 million people from all over the world, La Sagrada Familia, hits the 1st place on any traveller’s to-do list before they die. Yet, the basilica is an uncompleted work, and has been under construction over 120 years supported by the donations of people. Still, you almost never leave the city without vising it, right? It’s like an unwritten rule.
Why is that so?
The basilica is where nature and divinity depicted in its utmost elegance. The majestic columns are in the form of eucalyptus trees growing inside the basilica. The awe-inspiring lighting passing through the colorful stained glass windows make your soul feel gratitude. But, it is not until you raise your head up and see the heavenly light pouring in from the top of the columns in the church’s nave. The roof, stretching above to a height that you wait for an angel to show up and pull you up. There you finally hear a song generated in your ear, in a language that you are not familiar with yet fully inspires your soul.
(And obviously, you do not want to be pitied under the dirty looks of your colleagues back home when you tell them you skipped La Sagrada Familia.)
There is my Gaudi experience that created with my own words above, the words that the story of him and his mesmerizing masterpiece made me wrote. It is now only a matter of posting tweets under relevant hashtags on Twitter and fill up Instagram with filtered photos which I’m sure will receive more likes than my own photos.
What’s more is that despite, the uncompleted look with the construction equipment making the outer facade peculiar, all we know is that the story of La Sagrada Familia and the artwork of basilica itself, Gaudi’s life and ambition contributed immensely to its marketing and branding that sell without any restraint of time and place empowering the art of storytelling.
See, it is not merely the words that move the people but, the story that is made out of it. Persuasive brand stories, like Coca Cola selling happiness, speak to values, to what your brand stands for and why it exists. And, eventually, once you create your unique story and more dialog with people out there, you will reach your desired audience. Or better, just like in Gaudi’s case, people will come and find you.
Meanwhile P’s self-centered style of communication will always remain as a bad narrative thread where the reality is that in fact people like to be told stories, as long as they can empathize the story that blanket the product/idea/character. Giving voice and more active roles to people will eventually make them the advocate of the product/idea/character.
Isn’t it, the implementation of the most favorable marketing strategy we hear frequently, a win-win situation?