The notion of brands as storytellers makes sense. It helps create an emotional connection between a consumer and a brand, producing, giving the brand’s products an inherent value above the cost of a product and its benefits.

This Purina ad pulled right at my heartstrings. For Purina, I am assuming the  goal is to show how a pet enriches your life, and imply they are worth expensive dog food without actually saying so. Or at least associate a loving dog relationship with Purina dog food.

Great stories => greater product sales?

The issue I see is that the ad recall for this ad has to be low. Purina shows up only at the end of the ad. If stories are the new brand, advertisers will have to do a good job embedding brand name into the story if they want to be remembered when it comes time to buy the product.

Maybe they are betting on aided recall, where a consumer will remember the brand while shopping when they see the product, as opposed to remembering the brand name without a stimulus.

Brand Recall matters less for #1 brands

I think that brand recall matters less to brands that are #1 in the category. Purina is to dog food as Gillette is to razors. It owns the majority of the market. Even if I had no idea what brand produced the ad, I would probably assume it was Purina, even if Iams made the ad.

Storytelling as a single part of the selling strategy

The Purina ad was on Best in Show (an annual dog program). The entire program seemed like a giant ad for Purina, with signage all over the dog arena, and constant commercials in addition to the storytelling ad above. The majority of the commercials were more of the normal type, showing product benefit, happy dogs, and of course, constant brand name. Maybe then, storytelling is best as a single part of a multi pronged ad strategy, where the story reinforces emotional connection, and the other ads sell in benefit, and of course, the brand name.

More storytelling thoughts to come…