What’s the value of a good story?

Cars Mater

Storytelling is one of the oldest traditions in the world. Some of our greatest tales (the Odyssey, the Iliad, the Tortoise and the Hare, Santa Clause) have been handed down from generation to generation.

The value of these timeless stories is often in the lessons that they convey.

Fast forward to today – storytelling is still alive and well. Companies of all shapes and sizes tell stories to the people who consume (or might like to consume) their products. One of the hardest things for companies in today’s day and age is developing a captivating story.

One company that knows how to develop and capitalize on stories is Disney Pixar.

A little while ago, my son started watching Mater’s Tall Tales (a spinoff of the movie Cars) on Netflix while home from daycare sick. After watching the 25 minute animated tale a few times, a few things were evident. First, Pixar’s storytelling is superb and can keep both parents and kids entertained despite watching the same thing multiple times in a row. Besides the watchability, Pixar also made their characters extremely sticky. After watching a few of the vignettes my son was hooked and was cheering for Mater the Tow Truck and I thought to myself this cannot end well.
In the end I was able to win out in convincing him which car was cooler and a better buy (the $0.97 one), but it showed a value add for Pixar’s storytelling – more than 800 times  their Matchbox counterpart. They also hook ‘em young and can make a headache for parents trying to quell a crying tot in a store. Thankfully for this author, Toddler Espo is still easily distracted by new shiny objects and digs the $0.97 Matchbox cars. Fast forward a few hours to us picking up some things at a local Target and walking past the toy aisle. The younger Espo belts out Mater! Mater! Mater Truck Daddy! Like a good father not wanting to cause a scene in a store I roll my cart over to the car section. To my surprise the Cars cars were $8, while the same size Matchbox cars were $0.97, and the Cars were a little cheaper looking despite the higher sticker price.

11 Responses to What’s the value of a good story?
  1. ReadEatWriteRun
    February 18, 2013 | 10:25 am

    @jodyms @kamichat @jeffespo Stories help us learn, connect us to others, bring light into darkness.

  2. jeffespo
    February 18, 2013 | 10:55 am

    @ReadEatWriteRun @jodyms @kamichat Thanks!

  3. kamichat
    February 18, 2013 | 12:40 pm

    @tammysjackson It is a challenge, but not as hard as you think if you approach it like a reporter. What would people want to know?

  4. TammySJackson
    February 18, 2013 | 1:35 pm

    @kamichat Agree. I use my old reporter interview techniques w. execs & customers. Something awesome usually comes up. 🙂

  5. TammySJackson
    February 18, 2013 | 2:00 pm

    @kamichat in fact, our entire comm/PR dept is former journalists. @NicoleRWise is my partner in crime.

  6. jeffespo
    February 18, 2013 | 2:05 pm

    @TammySJackson Everyone has one, they just need to tell it properly

  7. kamichat
    February 18, 2013 | 3:10 pm

    @TammySJackson @NicoleRWise Love it!

  8. jeffespo
    February 18, 2013 | 5:15 pm

    @StaceyHood TY sir.

  9. jeffespo
    February 19, 2013 | 3:40 pm

    @jenniferwindrum thanks bippy

  10. jeffespo
    February 21, 2013 | 10:35 am

    @JasonPromotesU TY sir. Hope all is well with you today sir!

  11. JasonPromotesU
    February 21, 2013 | 10:40 am

    @bobdayaz Thanks Bob for the RT