By Bridget Halpin
In the PR world we all want to create content for our clients that tells a story and encourages action, but how exactly do we do this?
Our team recently had a conversation about the importance of creating content for our clients that can cut through the noise and create emotional connections.
This is creative content which stops us in our tracks, sparks a conversation, encourages sharing, tells a story and provokes emotion. Often a brand’s image or product may not even featured, instead, the story itself and the messaging will directly relate to the brand.
In order to start a conversation, we need to dive deeper into the brand’s mission and values. What does the brand stand for? How can we effectively communicate this? For example, Sussan’s philosophy is For Women by Women therefore all content and activity produced is strategically centred around celebrating all women.
Effectively targeting emotion, whether it’s a humorous skit, a story that sparks fond memories or anecdotes that tug on the heart strings, is becoming more and more critical to successful campaigns. The emotion gives a brand personality, and allows it to connect to its audience on a stronger level.
The following are examples of emotive branded content.
AFL x AIA Vitality | The Last Time I Cried
This incredible content series created by the AFL in partnership with AIA Vitality encourages conversations about mental health. The in-depth interview series features past and present AFL players and coaches sharing their own personal stories of the last time they cried.
What makes this series so special is that it breaks down the stereotypes that AFL players need to be men who don’t show emotions or mental health issues. It’s a really important conversation that needs to be had with everyone, especially young males, who look up to these athletes.
See ‘The Last Time I Cried’ here.
Dove | Real Beauty campaign
Beauty brand Dove has launched a number of successful campaigns which celebrate women’s natural beauty and encourage them to feel comfortable in their own skin.
The Real Beauty billboard series which featured groups of real women in their underwear gained lots of traction for embracing diversity. The campaign called for people to widen their definition of beauty and to be proud.
It encouraged a conversation of self-acceptance and paved the way for other brands to embrace real women in their campaigns.
Always | #LikeAGirl Campaign
American brand Always set out to champion girls’ confidence and challenge the term ‘Like A Girl’, one which is often used as an insult.
The social experiment demonstrated how gender stereotypes have significantly impacted the confidence of teenagers and called for young females and women to empower term.
The brand decided to focus on one their key brand values being confidence rather than specific product messaging.
See #Likeagirl here.
Gilette | The Best Men Can Be
This is a great example of content which incorporates social responsibility and discusses current issues in our society: toxic masculinity and the #MeToo movement.
Rather than showcasing product, the video challenges the audience to take action and be better. Although met with some critics, it was the right kind of controversy to get people talking.
See ‘The Best Men Can Be’ here.
So, what do all these content pieces have in common? They are memorable and sharable and ultimately all encourage their audience to start a conversation and take action, with the brand leading the dialog.
Although sometimes easier said than done, I know I will be challenging myself to think about how I can encourage a client to build emotional connections through story telling.