The explosion in content marketing means that companies are no longer merely advertising, but publishing. This constant quest to produce unique, engaging material is resulting in brands working to unearth fascinating new tales, revealing untold stories of underdogs, outcasts and fascinating individuals to enhance their identity. And not only this, they’re also using sound and music to tell their business’ story in a more heartfelt, emotive way than ever before.
We’re all used to seeing ads that feature celebrities, or narratives carefully crafted by brands with the sole purpose of promoting their product. But in recent times, increasing numbers of adverts are shining the spotlight on real people, and using their unique stories as a means of promoting their brand. Tesco’s ‘Food Love Stories’; and Bumble’s #Findthemonbumble are both great examples, but the recent master of this method of marketing is undoubtedly Guinness. This year, two of their high-profile campaigns have unearthed the heartwarming stories of sports fans. The first – ‘The Purse’ – was created in line with the Six Nations tournament, and followed real-life brothers David and Gareth Rees, who (at their mother’s dying wish) used their inheritance to follow her beloved Welsh rugby ream across the globe, enjoying a pint of Guinness after every match. And especially for the upcoming Rugby World Cup, ‘Liberty Field’ shines a light on the women who defied convention to establish a women’s rugby team in 1980s Japan. Truly inspirational, this five minute documentary and TV advert is a real illustration of strength, grit and determination – and uses a little-known, real-life story as the perfect celebration of the sport.
These Guinness adverts stand out because it’s rare to see real stories in this medium – unlike in the world of podcasts. Hugely accessible (and never more popular), this auditory channel has given a voice to people who may not have had one before – making it a platform overflowing with untold stories. And seeing this success, many businesses are entering this arena with branded podcast content that features all manner of individuals with a tale to tell. One lauded example is business communication app Slack’s ‘Work in Progress’ – a series about ‘the meaning and identity we find in work.’ Episodes have featured stories of personal ambition, success, insecurity and professional passions, handing the mic to contributors as diverse as a vintage retail store owner, a Japanese translator and the machinists of the New York Times. This works effectively for Slack because their product is designed to enhance people’s working lives – so it’s a perfect fit for them to share stories of others’ lives at work. Increasing numbers of businesses are following this path, realising that producing content like this is a compelling, on-trend and relatively untapped way of connecting with consumers.
Podcasts aren’t the only audio platform that allows a company to tell their untold stories – music is an equally powerful medium for businesses to convey their identity. Copy and voice artistry are obviously very effective in sharing a message, particularly when they’re directed down the ears of a captive audience like that of a podcast or On-Hold Marketing production. When these combine with music, the effect on the listener is taken to a whole new level. A Brand-Sound-Track™ composed exclusively for a business captures their identity in the most emotive way, revealing aspects of a personality that can be really felt, rather than just communicated. By adding a composition like this to their marketing strategy, businesses are revealing parts of their story that have never been heard before.
Up to now, many a business has been silenced when it comes to unveiling their true identity. But with sound – and more importantly, music – they can make sure their story is finally heard.