Tell me a story…your story


What can you learn from Pixar?

You’ve probably heard ‘Content is King’ at some point and time. It’s just as relevant today as it was when the internet, and blogs started taking off.

The same is true when it comes to your advertising. Your message / story (aka content) is key. Who are you? What do you do? And why is it important to ME (the consumer).

Most advertising works this way: here’s my product, here are some features, buy it. It’s safe, lazy and ineffective, but everyone does it, so you follow the leader and do the same.

Think about how you buy for a second? Why did you buy the vehicle you did? Why did you purchase Doritos over the No Name brand? You may not know it, but you did it because you bought the story of the brand. You felt connected in some way to it, so you support it. You FEEL something for the brand, and you connect with what it says about YOU.

You purchased a Mercedes because it says you can afford it, you enjoy comfort, and you’re not afraid to show off. You purchased Doritos because you’re hip, you’re young, and you’re not cheap. Even though you may not be all these things, you associate yourself with these attributes. You are who you think you are. You are apart of that TRIBE.

Your business / personal brand

I really got to thinking about the message / story last night while I was watching a collection of Pixar short films. Yes, they were doing amazing things with animation (feature) but it was the STORY (benefit) that connected to the audience. It was the STORY that made people BUY Pixar and what they were doing.

You can follow Pixar’s lead by telling your story in your advertising. This is sooo important if you’re a new business (or if you just switched jobs and you care about your personal brand. ps. YOU SHOULD CARE ABOUT YOUR PERSONAL BRAND).

Who are you? What do you stand for? Why do you exist? Why is that important? By telling your story you will connect with the people who will eventually become your customers. It may not happen right away, but over time it will.

No one cares about your product, it’s features or why they should buy it. They care about you, your story, and how it benefits them. The local businesses who are uber successful know this and they tell you about it in their advertising. It’s how they compete with the large international businesses. They connect, and make fans. And fans will pay a lot more to YOU because of YOUR story.

It’s how Pixar got the ear of Disney, and it’s how they made numerous successful shorts and feature films (including the best animated – maybe even feature film – of all time, Toy Story). The lesson is in the name. Stop shoving your product down my throat. Tell me a story, and if I connect with that story…I will support you for life.

Love you,



Ron Burgundy & the Dodge Durango

No doubt, Ron Burgundy and the Dodge Durango have benefitted from their mutual partnership. SUV sales have gone up and Anchorman 2 is probably going to have an amazing first week at the box office. After all, Will Farrell has been everywhere as Ron Burgundy including curling trials in Canada and even getting a Ben & Jerry’s Ron Burgundy-themed ice cream.

If you haven’t seen the Ron Burgundy / Dodge Durango ads yet, here’s a taste:

No wonder SUV sales have gone up and awareness of the SUV has been higher than ever. But, what happens when Ron Burgundy goes away? What happens when Anchorman 2 drops off the face of the Earth after a large opening weekend? After all, Will Farrell is notorious for his box office blunders. Don’t get me wrong, the array of Anchorman 2 co-branded marketing campaigns have been brilliant. However, there is so much hype built around the movie that it’s almost impossible to meet that hype. That’s why I think Anchorman 2 will have a strong opening, but die a quick death. And then what happens to the Dodge Durango? What happens when your brand is associated with a flop?

Dodge better have a strong follow up to this campaign because it has built the hype. It has built personality into the struggling and bland Durango name. Ron Burgundy has given Dodge a huge shot in the arm, but what happens when that high goes away? What happens when you come down and you want another hit?

You can go back to the same well with another movie character or do a similar humourous campaign, but after awhile your audience will begin to loose interest, your sales will drop and you’ll be left scratching your head as to what happened.

Then again, Anchorman 2 may end up being a great success and sales of the Durango may surge and that’s cool. Either way, it’s imperative Dodge follows up their recent successes with another blockbuster of a campaign.

What does this mean for your business?

Have a plan. You should always be looking around the corner as to what to do next based off what has happened and is currently happening.

Would you rather win the battle or win the war? Dodge is winning the battle right now, but what about the war? The next few weeks are going to be crucial to the success of the Durango.