A Running List about Storytelling in Marketing and Pop Culture

  • is collecting stories of cheap vacations here (and awarding prizes for the best ones).

  • HGTV_Short_Stories.jpg

  • HGTV is collaborating with some of its advertisers to create “Short Stories.”

    Sponsors that I know of so far include Renuzit, Stearns and Foster Mattresses, and Soyjoy.

  • science_diet.jpg

  • Hill’s Science Diet pet food features “Tales of Transformation,” stories of cats and dogs who’ve been transformed by eating the food.

  • rightmed_game.jpg

  • The James Gang uses storytelling in its magazine campaign for Right Medical ophthalmic equipment.

  • <storiesofHawaii.jpg

  • “Every shirt tells a story,” proclaims, and when you go to the site, you can see and hear video of Hawaii stories.

  • WIB_FB_hearingaids.jpg

  • Writes Joe Pulizzi of Chief Marketer: “Blendtec, a manufacturer of (you guessed it) blenders, has had tens of millions view its “Will It Blend?” video series over the last few years. The 30-second to two-minute videos show Blendtec founder Tom Dickson attempt to “blend” various items including golf balls, a toilet plunger, and even an iPhone. According to Blendtec executive George Wright, retail sales have increased by more than 500 percent, which he attributes almost solely to the video series.”

  • storyworldwide.jpg
    Story Worldwide calls itself the first “post-advertising” agency and says it is “… successfully blending unchanging narrative skills and the newest technology to help global clients win in the midst of a media revolution. We are 200+ professionals in a wide range of specialties, from branding to journalism to web development to direct response, consistently growing organically at 30 percent+, acquiring new capabilities and winning new clients. Welcome to the post-advertising age.”

  • Unilever is using storytelling with its Degree brand in the form of “The Rookie”, a digital short series that mirrors the trademark style of Fox’s popular show 24.

  • MexicoviaPacifico.jpg

  • Mexico via Pacifico loosely tells the story of a certain lifstyle via attractive graphics.

  • Blogs about Storytelling/Branding ~ Storytelling/Marketing ~ Storytelling/Public Relations

  • StoriesThatSell.jpg
    Casey Hibbard’s Stories That Sell

    Ishmael’s Corner, blog of The Hoffman Agency.


    Storytelling category of Servant of Chaos


    Storytelling category of Brand Story


    Partum Intelligendo




    Narrative Assets


    Storytelling Category of Marketing Interactions


    Laurence Vincent


    Narrative Marketing category of James Phelps


    Let’s Talk Story

  • Branding_in_Practice.JPG

    Storytelling: Branding in Practice. Publisher’s description:

    As a concept, storytelling has won a decisive foothold in the debate on how brands of the future will be shaped. Yet, companies are still confused as to how and why storytelling can make a difference to their business. What is the point of telling stories anyway? What makes a good story? And how do you go about telling it so that it supports the company brand? This book is written for practitioners by practitioners. Through real life examples, simple guidelines and practical tools, the book aims to inspire companies to use storytelling as a means of building their brand - internally as well as externally.

  • A part of Hitachi’s Web site is True Stories, in video form, like the one below:

  • Trollbeads’ current tagline is “Every story has a bead.”

  • citibank’s current tagline is “What’s your story?” (“Whatever your story is, your Citi card can help you write it.”)

  • Theme parks, especially Disney, are often associated with storytelling. Quote in Orlando Sentinel, 4-14-06: “Story telling has always been the hallmark of attractions at Disney and Universal Orlando, where pre-shows immerse people in the theme of the ride.” Similarly, Sea World Orlando launched a new killer-whale show, Believe, in which trainers become storytellers, emerging from the water to tell their personal stories.

  • JetBlue, which previously sponsored a Story Booth project, invites customers to share their stories.

  • MyRealEstateStory.jpg
  • A company called The Fund runs a site called in which real people tell real-estate horror stories to promote the idea of hiring a real-estate attorney.

  • Glamour magazine runs a section called Real Stories.

  • The makers of Gardasil, the cervical cancer vaccine, ran an ad with the headline: “Calling Gardasil a cervical cancer vaccine is only the beginning of the story.”

  • produced a video of members’ success stories for 2007.

  • A site called invites people who share names with celebrities to share their stories.

  • Moissanite jewel is running a contest that invites entrants to share their stories of their most important Milestone Moment (such as first date with future husband, holding a first baby, a first big promotion) and win a pendant. The site also offers Milestone Moment example stories.

  • Headline for an ad promoting the Dr. Phil show: “The stories you care about as they happen.”

  • A site for London’s Royal Festival Hall collects memories of the hall. festival_hall.jpg

  • Apple credits its FinalCutPro software for “empowering the storyteller,” in this case photographer Lauren Greenfield who used Final Cut Pro to produce Thin, about young women in a treatment center for eating disorders. Laura_Greenfield.jpg
  • Apple’s own story inspires Mitchell Harper of the software company Inspire, who writes about the importance of the corporate story in a blog posting.

  • Business Week offers a podcast, “Sell It with a Story: Stories that Build Connections with Customers,” in which Doug Stevenson, president of Story Theater International, offers Savvy Selling columnist and podcast host Michelle Nichols his strategies on using storytelling to make more sales.

  • Gerry Lantz talks about Brand Stories that Work, including the Dove Real Beauty campaign.

  • In a 9-minute video, Shell Oil tells a warm, human story of how the snake oil drill, said to be relatively environmentally friendly, was invented by an engineer watching his son drink a milkshake through a bendy straw.

  • Thomas R. Clifford blogs about Harnessing the Power of Remarkable Corporate Video Stories to Ignite Conversations and Spark Action at Bringing Brands to Life. TC  Final Blog Banner starburst.jpg

  • In What’s Your story? Storytelling to Move Markets, Audiences, People, and Brands, authors Ryan Mathews and Watts Wacker describe stories as the “most powerful, most underutilized tool for competitive advantage.” You can read more about the book in a two-part article by George Anderson about the book in the journal, Retail Wire (free subscription required): Part 1: Telling Stories for Profit and Part 2: Telling Stories for Profit. whats_your_story.JPG

  • Steve Denning offers insight on why narrative ads work better.

A Storied Career

A Storied Career explores intersections/synthesis among various forms of
Applied Storytelling:
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  • storytelling for identity construction
  • storytelling in social media
  • storytelling for job search and career advancement.
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A Storied Career's scope is intended to appeal to folks fascinated by all sorts of traditional and postmodern uses of storytelling. Read more ...
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Dr. Kathy Hansen

Kathy Hansen, PhD, is a leading proponent of deploying storytelling for career advancement. She is an author and instructor, in addition to being a career guru. More...


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The following are sections of A Storied Career where I maintain regularly updated running lists of various items of interest to followers of storytelling:


Links below are to Q&A interviews with story practitioners.

The pages below relate to learning from my PhD program focusing on a specific storytelling seminar in 2005. These are not updated but still may be of interest:

October 2012

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