When used for marketing, storytelling is an excellent way to help audiences conclude that brands understand their challenges and triumphs. Several brands have taken that approach and have gotten off to a spectacular, story-centered start in 2018.
The Peloton "Better Is in Us" Campaign
Most people would agree that the ups and downs of life cause both sweat and tears at times. However, strength often comes from the inside and encourages individuals to conquer significant hardships -- as well as the smaller but still annoying things that throw them momentarily off course.
This campaign from Peloton, a company that sells exercise bikes with customized streaming workout plans, featured prominently during the Winter Olympics and shows a young woman tackling life head-on while never sacrificing her in-home workout routine.
The company notes that this storytelling effort was inspired by its users, who say their Peloton workouts motivate them to get through whatever else a day brings, thereby revealing their inner strength. This campaign hits home because it succinctly shows scenes that are similar to things people typically deal with during adulthood.
The SoundCloud "First on SoundCloud" Campaign
It's not difficult to find out how some of music's biggest stars -- such as Rihanna or Taylor Swift -- got their time to shine, but the backstories of lesser-known, hardworking artists are not always as publicized.
SoundCloud, a site that allows musicians to upload tracks for fans to stream, hopes to change that with its "First on SoundCloud" campaign. It profiles how creators grew up and what inspired them to make music, plus reveals how the SoundCloud platform served as a launchpad for their careers. In addition to the hand-picked SoundCloud artists in this campaign, the brand lets all creators have a chance to get more visibility by using the #SCFIRST hashtag.
Taylor Bennett is the first featured artist. His video tells the story of dedication to his art and belief of how music can change things. This campaign reveals the human side of today's creators, and should encourage people to take notice of them and the SoundCloud site as a whole.
The Quincy Compressor "Stop the Hiss" Video
Taking a theatrical approach to marketing often resonates with audiences. Quincy Compressor, a company specializing in industrial air compressor systems, capitalized on that reality with its clever "Stop the Hiss" video. Modeled after a short film, it tells the story of what happens when air leaks go undetected -- and specifically how they can cause unnecessary expenses.
The fantastic acting and high production quality keep users engaged. Plus, the video makes them think about a topic that might not have previously crossed their minds.
The State Farm and NBC "This Is Us" Collaborative Campaign
"This Is Us" is a hit show on NBC known for its storytelling skills, so State Farm wisely teamed up with the network to run a campaign that targeted the show's viewers and used the flash-forward and flashback techniques familiar to the series' fans.
Advertisements ran while the show aired, and they got promoted through BuzzFeed. The content focused on items in a home with memories connected to them, such as a kitchen table.
Besides the style catering to viewers of the television show, the campaign showed how State Farm understands the worth people give to particular things they own, which ties into the brand's insurance business model.
Trulia's "Insiders" Campaign
The everyday individuals who populate neighborhoods around the globe often know more about those places than the real estate professionals marketing houses in those areas. That's a reality brought to life with Trulia's campaign featuring down-to-earth locals -- a paperboy and a dog walker -- telling the story of what makes a featured neighborhood stand out in short but memorable videos.
The clips complement Trulia's concentrated effort to advertise its "What Locals Say" feature, which provides insights into what it's like to live in an area. According to the company, 76 percent of homebuyers planning to move within 18 months said a lifestyle or neighborhood-related reason was a primary factor. Together, the personality-filled "Insiders" spots and content provided by real-life residents could help people feel more confident about relocating.
Relatable topics tie all these campaigns together. In each case, a viewer can likely digest the content and come away feeling that at least one component of an authentic campaign narrative spoke to something they've faced or will likely encounter soon.
So, it's no surprise these brands have earned attention already, even though 2018 is still in its early stages.