The Story of Storytelling

The whole point of advertising is storytelling and not selling. Brands need to be able to tell their stories in innovative and memorable ways to make a lasting impression on their audiences. We are aware of the different advertising channels available in the digital era – the Internet, television, radio, mobiles, etc.; but do you know how it all started? How we went from painting on cave walls to keep stories alive to how we started making viral videos on YouTube? In this video Joe Sabia – digital artist and master storyteller, reveals the evolution of storytelling in just under four minutes in a charming and humorous way that makes this video a must-watch!

How it all started

It all started with – The Book! Although the form of writing has been around for thousands of years and ancient civilizations wrote extensively on clay tablets, papyrus, palm leaves and even rudimentary paper sheets. However, the first breakthrough came when the printing press was invented in Germany in the 15th century, which gave rise to books that could be distributed to the masses. Till the 19th century, books reigned supreme as the premier form of storytelling.

This lasted till one day a man named Lothar Meggendorfer decided that books and the textual form of storytelling was too boring and decided to create the first pop-up book for children. This allowed stories to be more realistic and mesmerizing. According to Joe, all storytellers were in fact channeling Meggendorfer’s spirit when they evolved the method of storytelling from Opera to Vaudeville, from radio news to radio theatre, from photos to moving pictures to movies with sound, color films, DVD, 3D, etc.

With the advent of the Internet, the world of storytelling exploded as people were able to tell stories in millions of ways and with so many different devices. You now had search engines; online games; online videos and social networks like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to broadcast your story to the world in minutes. As Joe points out, this is when humanity paused to think that in 6000 years, we went from scratching hunting stories on cave walls to quoting Shakespeare on Facebook walls. Joe says that the art of storytelling has remained the same with even the stories remaining the same, but the ways in which humans tell stories has constantly changed with “pure, consistent novelty” – all thanks to Lothar Meggendorfer.

What can brands learn from this?

As emphasized by Joe, the methods of storytelling are constantly evolving. Brands should not limit themselves to the available channels to market themselves. New technology is being released everyday and advertisers and brands need to find out all the marketing options that they have instead of following the herd. Some of the most effective marketing channels such as the Internet are also much less expensive than traditional advertising mediums. Thinking outside the box and being imaginative is always the right move in branding. So watch this video and learn all about the history of storytelling from Joe Sabia.