In our last blog post we dealt with Dietmar Dahmen’s presentation at the CO-REACH exhibition in Nuremberg. Today’s blog post will be about another speaker at the dialogue marketing exhibition.
Wibke Ladwig is a “Social Web Ranger”. The topic she presented in the exhibition’s crossmedia area was as creative as her job title. The presentation, entitled “Telling is like dancing. How to leverage your Storytelling”, demonstrated how good storytelling works. Based in Cologne, Ladwig specialized in developing storytelling concepts for customers in various industries. Ideation as well as creativity plays a big role in her everyday work life.
But where is the link between telling and dancing? Ladwig played some dancing scenes and spoke about practical examples to illustrate the correlation. The key word is ‘emotions’. Dancing, just like storytelling, is supposed to transfer and trigger emotions and further unite people. Combined with the right images, words and rhythm, a story can build a sustainable connection to your dialog partner. Finally dancing can tell a story, too.
With the help of a practical example, Ladwig showed how storytelling can work. The Orgelmaus (pipe organ mouse) is an educational and cultural communication project initiated by nongovernmental organizations. It is a good example of how information can be embedded in a story and also be transferred playfully to the reader.
A specially arranged blog tells the hero’s journey of an adventurous mouse that formerly lived in a pipe organ. Simultaneously the blog gives interesting musical and historical information about the ancient instrument.
Wibke Ladwig describes the functionality of the storytelling concept on the basis of two levels. The first level is the emotional level and the one the story is told on. In our example the first level tells the adventures the mouse experiences. On the second level information is communicated. And this is where the initial aim of a story is – in this case it’s spreading information about an ancient instrument. Nevertheless both levels have the same function in winning the reader’s interest and sympathy and mainly draw the attention to the important facts. This primarily happens on the informational level and rarely on the emotional level. Working on a storytelling project, marketers have to face a third level. It deals with the question of how to organize and realize such a project.
The implementation of the Orgelmaus project gives good examples that can be adopted in a storytelling project. Besides a blog the Orgelmaus has a Twitter-account, a Facebook page and its own hashtag which the reader can use to discuss about the adventures of the little mouse and the organ pipe. According to Ladwig, an interactive story, where the reader can decide what happens next, is the best way of storytelling, because the reader gets included easily. But in the end, it’s the good things that work. And this way even a linear story like the adventures of the little mouse can be successful.
Finally, a quote by Ken Kesey describes the essence of the storytelling concept:
“To hell with facts! We need stories!”
Stories are an important carrier of emotions. And emotions precisely decide whether the prospect gets interested in a product and then acts.