Johnnie the Storyteller 

The best brands are built on great stories.“
—Ian Rowden
Chief Marketing Officer, Virgin Group

The idea of storytelling in marketing is now more popular than ever. Before it starts converting in another buzzword, hot concept or a marketing cliché, let’s breakdown the concept. Storytelling from a marketing perspective is an essential technique of content marketing. It is a way of creating stories or anecdotes and then in a subtle way reveal and connect the narrative with the brand. The common denominator of a good storytelling is that first the story connects with the customer and then it sales a product.

What’s the difference between a good and a bad story? What makes a brand master the art of storytelling? What are the elements of a good storytelling? Like any other art, good storytelling needs practice and can be learned if – we as marketers – get rid off our inner ‘salesy’ tone and desperate desire of prompting advertising messages in front of any available space. Yes, let’s calm down…and let’s take out our writing abilities that we all have inside.

Before going to some examples it is important to understand the main elements of a story: characters, setting, conflict, and resolution. That’s the universal structure of any story. It has remained the same since the age of great storytellers: Socrates, Jesus, or William Shakespeare. The combination of those elements is the cause of inspire people to act, connect and engage.

The Simplicity in How Johnnie Walker did it with “The Man Who Walked Around the World”…


  • It tells, not sells
  • It runs chronologically
  • It has a clear setting and a resolution
  • It is loaded with relevant facts about the the founder and his family
  • It is an educational story (tells why Johnnie Walker is different and invite customers to become a member of the extended family)

Johnnie is not Selling Whiskey, is Selling a Lifestyle …


  • Perfect resolution with a clear message behind
  • It portrays two regular consumers of expensive goods looking for something money can’t buy
  • Subtle presence of the product across the story
  • It leaves an emotional connection with the brand
  • Inspire people to share the story (more than 11 million views)

In DIGIZAG we encourage you to make a “Zag” (a sharp turn, alterations, or ideas that confronts the status quo) in the way you are telling stories. Remember to take out your inner writing abilities, work on your storytelling techniques, and then seat back and watch how you can start building brand equity.

Share your favorite storytelling examples using the Twitter hashtag #IdeaMarketing

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