The MFA Is The New MBA

Evelyn Rodriguez writes about writing in her latest blog entry. She quotes Dan Pink, author of Free Agent Nation, as saying “The MFA is the new MBA.” I find this particularly interesting in light of the new home page copy I recently developed for DavidBurn dot com.
Storytellers needed.
Every product or service has a story to tell. How well that story is created and then recreated in each new marketing campaign has much to do with the long-term success of the product or service.
Branded stories are told in every medium imaginable today, from TV advertising to bathroom advertising to product placement. With the rise of the internet and the consequent rise of web logs, the storyteller’s stage is set like never before. Now branded communications can truly reach people where they live. Sure, people have lived in front of their TV sets for five decades, but they’re existence there has been passive. In front of computer screens, people are living engaged, thoughtful and interconnected lives.
Ad agencies and the client companies that hire them, in my opinion, need to hire storytellers capable of weaving a narrative thread on a daily basis. Some of these storytellers will emerge happier from their copywriting perch inside agencies. Others will come from the blogosphere. Still others might be cherry-picked from the best writing programs like Iowa Writer’s Workshop. Wherever they come from, they’re sorely needed. Corporate America is just starting to wake up to this reality. In five years time, I predict having a resident storyteller on board the corporate ship will be a given.

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About David Burn

Native Nebraskan seeking the perfect pale ale in the Pacific Northwest. Copywriter and brand strategist at Bonehook. Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. Contributor to The Content Strategist. Doer of the things written about herein.

  • clyde

    There are many ways of telling stories in advertising, most of which have been practiced for years. Deception is a form in which storytelling is most effective. Take Guiness’ new commercials, “brilliant” though they may be:
    Guiness’ label brands it as a beer made at London’s Gate in Dublin, Ireland. Irish beer. Heavy, dark, Irish. Knit sweaters, leprechauns and all.
    Now, read the story on the label: Brewed and bottled in CANADA. Hmmm. Some story. Storytelling by deception, or a fairy-tale?
    Just a thought, eh?