‘Twas the night before Christmas – Tell a story

Posted by: Tommy Tonkins on 23rd December 2014

Christmas is a time for stories.

From tales of shepherds, kings and a saviour’s birth to traditional ghost stories, and the modern-day magic of Santa and his flying reindeer. The tapestry of Christmas is spun through with epic yarns.

We all love a good story. Think back to the tales of your childhood. Think how they transported you, broke through the veil of reality and sparked your imagination into Technicolor-life. Stories matter. They are, more than anything else, what set us apart and make us uniquely human.

Communication first began with the telling of stories. Modern communication was born from the oral tradition. Where messages, testimony and history were verbally transmitted in speech or song across generations. Before we could write, this is how we communicated.

Storytellers were revered. They had to hold an audience by enchanting them, educating them and engaging them. The very things we strive to achieve now when we communicate with our own audiences or our customers.

We see this in advertising more at Christmas than any other time of the year. Every ad tells a story. They don’t tell us what to buy; they show us a feeling and hope that feeling strikes a chord that resonates with us.

There are two ways of looking at this, just like there can be two ways of looking at Christmas.

On the one hand, there’s the commercial element. The relentless drive to increase sales and maximise profit that all stems back to an illustration commissioned by Coca-Cola.

On the other hand, there’s the Christmas spirit and the undeniable fact that Christmas brings people together. Somewhere, underneath all the razzmatazz, is the essence of humanity and our unique capacity for hope, belief and love.

And it’s this spirit that the best adverts channel. These are the ads that move us in ways the very best art does. And, like the very best stories, they’re more than the sum of their parts and transcend the medium they’re portrayed on.

Find the heart underneath your communications, underneath your stories. Tap into that feeling and that emotion. Tell your story in a way that communicates this feeling to your customers because everyone, whatever their age or their demographic, loves a good story.

Christmas is a time for stories. So go out and tell yours, not just in the next month when you celebrate with friends and family, but always.

The more stories the world holds, the richer we all become.

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About the author

Tommy Tonkins

Tommy is our former Head of Content and now a freelance writer working with businesses around the world to help them tell their stories. He guest blogs for Jarrang from time to time.