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Storytelling: No one said it would be easy...

Anyone can tell a story, right? After-all, we are all born storytellers. From the moment children can comprehend words, we read them books, sit them in front of a screen to watch TV and films, we hand them tablets to swipe through games and videos, and soon, we'll even give them goggles to immerse themselves into a virtual setting, living directly inside the narrative. As these kids grow, they begin to tell their own tales. With all this exposure to content, you’d think we would all be great storytellers. But, as I am rediscovering, good storytelling is hard. Really hard. By good storytelling, I mean crafting a storyline and producing it in a way that your intended audience will actually consume the entire piece of work, and once they have, determine that it was so worthy of their time they want to share it with others. That’s the test of good storytelling, and achieving that is rarely easy. Case in point; at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, we interviewed 23 people that had participated at the Digital Storytelling event. We talked to filmmakers, documentarians, brand marketers, ad agencies, creators, and influencers. Our mission was to tell the story about the eroding efficiency of interruptive advertising, and the resulting need for brands to create content that passes the value test described above. With 13 hours of interview footage on hand, we realized the large task at hand. Crafting a story from all of the meaningful insights and inspiring case studies from these bright minds doesn't happen over night. And, weaving these stories together in a way that will capture minds and warm hearts isn't necessarily something that can be taught. Storytellers that do this well, are infused with the ability to reach their audiences deeply, and engage them to that next level. We met a lot of these creative minds back in January. Two shining examples are Marriott's David Beebe. and documentary filmmaker Morgan Spurlock.

David Beebe is VP Global Creative + Content Marketing for Marriott International, where his mission is to run Marriott's internal studio and become the worlds largest provider of travel-related content.

Morgan Spurlock is an award-winning documentarian whose career hit the fast-track with his 2004 submission to the Sundance Film Festival, "Super Size Me". Since then, he and producing-partner Jeremy Chilnick, co-founded Warrior Poets, a New York-based production company responsible for an array of documentaries, television and digital series, and feature films (CNN's "Morgan Spurlock Inside Man", and the 2011 film, "The Greatest Movie Ever Sold").

Watch for weekly news updates from Brand Storytelling in your inbox, and share this with other storytellers in your network. Of course, if you’d like to contribute to the story, I'd love to hear from you. Email me:

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