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June 16, 2021

From the Olden Days of Storytelling to Now


The Olden Days of Storytelling & the Stories You Need to Tell for 2021 and Beyond….

The Olden Days 

At the risk of sounding cliche, it really is the dawn of a new era. Advertisers prior to the 16th century used song and sign boards to sell everything from candy to medicine, by the 16th to 18th century, modern advertising started to take shape with the coming of newspapers and magazines. The very first weekly newspaper appeared in Venice in the early 16th-century and the earliest commercial advertisements were for books and medicines, but by the 1650s, the variety of products being advertised had increased dramatically – even though not so desirable characters could advertise. 

By the 19th century, Émile de Girardin,  liberator of the Paris newspaper La Presse was the first to depend on paid advertising to lower its price, extend its readership and increase its profitability. His sales formula was soon transcribed by all titles and it wasn’t long before  British newspapers began soliciting brands to feature their products in newspapers, and in nutshell, the storytelling – advertising machine was born! 


From Advertising to Storytelling 

Fast-forward to 2021, where print advertising has been almost completely replaced by digital ads and where storytelling that was once isolated to newspapers, magazines and books, has evolved into video content that can be viewed with a simple tap on a screen.

So what is the perfect modern day formula for brands to adopt in this fast changing online world of storytelling?

While there isn’t just one thing, we have compiled the best video storytelling practices to take you into this next decade….


The Top 5 Stories You Need Tell Now

  • The Cause Story 

One of the first, and most obvious trends in 2021 storytelling, is cause marketing. Brands, like social media giant, TikTok, began to donate money for pandemic-related causes. Coursera, an online course provider, offered their courses for free to universities and schools to reflect their value in ensuring education continuity during the pandemic. 

What’s your cause? What story can you tell that supports an important issue and what value can your brand offer? 

  • Diversifying Storyteller

Telling stories through a unique lens offers diverse perspectives. Change up who shows up on camera, ask for their point of view on your brand and how they would tell your story. 

Diversifying your storytellers on screen and behind the lens offers your audience relatable content. 

This goes beyond the marketing department and stories from the brand’s official voice. This extends to a diverse range of storytellers outside of the official voice from employees, customers, vendors, and more.

Can your brand feature stories about another department? The unsung heroes? Who are the storytellers that are also your everyday customers? How can your stakeholders become part of your on-screen storytelling?

  • The How-To Story

Ever watch those ‘how it’s made’ videos? These often fascinating stories can show the behind the scenes action of what it really takes to create a product, service or experience. Audiences love to understand processes, especially if done creatively. 

Think outside the box too, creative animated explainer videos, mini docu-series to host on YouTube or even those fast paced edited videos. How can your brand be showcased differently?

Tastemade is just one example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FtlakUj8GBs

  • Your People Story 

Back in the olden days, people purchased from brands that they personally knew because they could trust them. Over the years, that personal touch has been lost and after a couple of years stuck behind screens with poor reliability on human connection, the world is craving that human element again. 

Your people are your best assets! Adding personality to your brand and a human element can come from your people and their stories. After all, they can offer a unique and relatable lens.

Try Creative Video Bios as add-ons to signatures and websites, to use in pitching decks and to use as essential social content.

  • Long Form Storytelling

The days of quick video content are far from over, but longer form stories are finding their way back into favour with viewers- with the caveat that they are executed with precision.

Viewers no longer want to feel sold to, and some major brands have taken notice and focus their attention on long form creative stories that support the brand values and goals, without making the brand the focal point of the story. Subtle branding is usually found throughout, if not just credited. Stories in the form of ‘short films’, ‘short documentaries or series’ are an excellent way to tell long form content in a creative way. 

How can your brand tell stories with this method? Sports brands are often excellent examples of this. 

RaceFace: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=66jRhb3eDGc

Arcteryx: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HQdaDbA-wJI

Do you need us to help identify what story is right for you? Contact us today and a member of our creative team will be in touch.