And what are they selling?

Back in the days when I was completely focused on storytelling—back before my own story took some unexpected turns—I frequently became embroiled in conversations over “What is storytelling?” and “What is a story?”

My discussion partners often found me a bit too wishy washy in my responses, at least those who had very fixed ideas about what belonged in those categories. I’ve never felt much of a need to put storytelling in one box or another. I see stories everywhere.

When I listen to a symphony, a story plays out in my head. The same thing happens when I watch dance, contemplate a painting, gaze at a photograph or eavesdrop in a café.

I’m not alone in my hunger for stories, and clever marketers know that. The ones who created this video wove together a lot of story strands, with eerie foreshadowing and a satisfying conclusion.

Clever storytelling alone can backfire, when people remember the ad but not what it was selling. For me, the ad in this video works on both counts. It’s a satisfying story, with spooky buildup and a twist at the end. And I’m likely to remember what it’s selling.

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