Everyone likes stories and Poles specialize in telling them. Both big and small companies have found that consumers like stories so they have decided to tell them more often. Three examples from the Polish backyard:
Polish communication professionals decide to use this form of message more often than they used to and they are doing it more and more effectively. Stories about brands are created on the basis of patterns known from videos and books, while some corporations employ neuromarketing specialists to analyse what kind of stories work best. Every brain “likes” stories and they are particularly valuable when voiced by authentic characters.
The power of authenticity
It worked in the case of six-year-old Sebastian who called the customer service department of the Polish energy company, PGE, to ask for “energy from the commercial.” The representatives of the brand had a hunch that it may be a good story and prepared an advertising campaign based on this event. After this one phone call, the plucky little fellow was given magical lighting with sparks and he had his room renovated. During the renovation, Sebastian’s family went on a trip, during which they learned how the electric current that is sent to their home is produced. They visited the Lignite mine near Bełchatów – one of the biggest in Europe – an electric power station, the interactive PGE exposition called Giants of Power and a luge track on Kamieńsk Mountain. The whole story was recorded and the video soon went viral:
The leader in brand journalism and storytelling is the Polish online shopping website, Allegro. The company publishes its own magazine and hires experienced journalists who used to work for traditional media. Professional actors perform in their commercials. Recently it also entrusted Polish legends to the talented draftsman, animator and director Tomasz Bagiński, whose video “The Cathedral” was nominated for an Oscar in the short animated movie category. Bagiński has created three contemporary interpretations of legends. In one, instead of the Dragon of Wawel Hill you can see a ruthless Russian man who flies by his modern plane and snatches innocent girls. Instead of a lamb stuffed with sulphur (as it was in the original version), the villain receives a cybergirl who blows up his vehicle.
From zero to hero
Storytelling is a tool used not only by big brands, but also by smaller businesses that use the power of emotion, with impressive effects. Author businesses in Poland rely on stories about their founders. One of the most spectacular is a story about the Mistress of Her Own Time (Pani Swojego Czasu) who discovered her mission – teaching other women how to manage their time – in dramatic circumstances. When it transpired that her older son suffered from an incurable disease, diabetes type 1, the life of her family turned upside down. After some time she realised that the rigorous lifestyle necessary to cope with her son’s illness, was not a problem for her. She managed perfectly with all the things that had to be done on time, and then decided to teach other women how to do it. This is a story of The Challenge Plot type.
The main character of the “from zero to hero” story is Michał Sadowski, the founder of Brand24. He is the head of the company responsible for monitoring media, and The White House (more precisely Michelle Obama) has recently used the services of his company. He recently published on social media a story about a young man who brought him a kebab he had ordered. When he opened his door, he saw a deliveryman who looked very confused. The executive then learned that the embarrassed deliveryman, apart from delivering kebabs, was working on his own internet project. He knew Michał Sadowski by sight, because he had taken part in a few of his training sessions. According to what the Brand24 CEO wrote, most striking in the deliveryman’s behaviour was the fact that he was embarrassed because he met the executive during a food delivery. This is why he recalled his own story; for the first 5 years of internet-based project creation, he was also working as a pizza house chef.
This is the Polish Connection Plot type story – a story in which people overcome boundaries or connect two worlds that normally do not meet.