Back in 2005, Daniel Pink told us it would happen. He said that the future would belong to the storytellers. I'll bet even ten years ago if the creative director walked into the Audi boardroom and told the directors that he wanted to do a series of ads based on Herman Melville's "Moby Dick," with no references to horsepower or fuel economy or even plush leather seats or stereo system they would have fired him on the spot. How can you sell cars without extolling the features of the car?
You tell a story. That's how. Audi's new campaign is brilliant. Instead of portraying Ahab as a one-legged ship's captain obsessed with a white whale it's a tow truck operator in the snow obsessed with the Quattro. Any wonder that the car in commercial (that is in the brief instances where you actually see the car) is white?
Watching football on television this weekend I was innundated with car commercials. Cars that talk. Trucks that break through massive drifts of snow. People giddy talking about their new car. Cars for 0% down. But nothing made me sit up and take notice like the story Audi is telling. And I'm not even in the market for a new car!
When we tell stories instead of filling our ads (web pages, newsletters, brochures, etc.) with how many beds we have or how many acres our property is or how long we've been in business we hold our audience. When we tell a story, we capture the interest of our audience. And once we've captured their interest it makes no difference how long their attention span is. We've got 'em! Come on…tell us a story.