It was just a few weeks ago the whole world changed, which is maybe putting it mildly.
Shops and businesses were putting policies in place to take extra precaution — and all of us were being just a little more careful. Today, we see the real-life impact of how this is affecting businesses, livelihoods and lives.
But HenkinSchultz is not writing today to talk about the word that’s already dominated too much of our lives, we’re here to talk about the very human need of telling and hearing stories.
Stories Make Emotional Connections
Stories connect us to our history. They connect us to people and people to us. And yes, they can be exceptionally effective in advertising.
I once interviewed an insurance salesman helping him determine his marketing direction. He said, “I’m flexible to work with and I have every insurance and financial product at my disposal to provide custom solutions for my clients.”
These were all true facts about the ‘what’ of what he did. But a lot of other insurance agents could say that, too. I pressed on and asked him ‘why.’
He looked at me a bit confused, then I saw him struggle to reach for his words. “My family grew up farming and raising cattle. I was driving home my last year of college and when I looked out the window, I saw the total devastation to my friends and neighbors and even strangers.”
He spoke on, a little choked up, about the 2013 October blizzard that killed 100,000 cattle in South Dakota and took with it so many family ranches and futures.
“I just saw how much people were hurting. And I knew whatever I did in life, it would have to be something that protects them.”
I was moved to hear it and he was moved to tell it. I knew what he did, now I knew the why.
Connecting People and Having Conversations
Advertising often gets a bad rap and that’s sometimes well deserved. The industry spends a lot of time yelling at people, telling you to ‘buy now’ or don’t miss out. Other times, commercials or ads are manipulative or shame you into the better life you should be leading.
There’s a reason people love streaming — skipping through ads — or being selective in their ad choices. Sometimes we’re so busy explaining what we do, we don’t always explain why we do it, and why it may mean something very personal to you.
HenkinSchultz has always committed to doing a better job at that in our work.
That backyard basketball hoop may be made of rugged plexiglass, adjustable height and sturdy weighted base. But it’s really the place a father and son get to play and bond after a tough day; a place to have conversations about the day; to be outside for a bit; to teach little life lessons and laugh.
A feel-good story is great content.
The latest in video conferencing software boasts easier-to-use interfaces, simple setup and advanced chat and audio features. But to anyone working at home — or forced to work at home — it is their lifeline to an income and the means to support a family under great stress.
It’s a tool to have a virtual happy hour with a college friend who always made you laugh on Saturdays after the football game, or see your niece’s first steps right before she tumbles face first into a pile of laundry. It’s a means of telling stories and making connections when we especially crave them.
A Final Few Words About The Times We’re In
Good stories require passion, communication, and of course, words. A few words we hope to never hear again are ‘the times we’re in’ ‘social distancing’ or ‘non-essential services.’
We are all essential. And to get through this chapter, we all need each other. We need to listen to stories and tell great stories.
A few bits of additional public service advice for all our friends, clients, families and their family’s families:
- Beware of the advertising scammers who always find ways to prey on the vulnerable during a crisis.
- Do your research on the price of things — avoid bad people who aim to hoard and price gouge.
- Support your local businesses as you can and support each other.
- Check in on that vulnerable neighbor.
- Ask for help when you need it.
If you need our help, our ideas or simply an ear to listen, HenkinSchultz is here and you can contact us anytime.
And when this challenging chapter is closed, we will be here on the other side of the story — to continue telling yours.