Brand Storytelling Is Just A Fancier Way Of Lying, Right?

Not long ago, I got an assignment for a technology company. They were an also-ran company in a crowded category, and they didn’t have a strong brand identity or any real unique benefits to tout. In a situation like that, there are basically two choices: concoct a story that may or many not be rooted in truth, or lie outright.

Hey, sometimes storytelling on behalf a brand can be amazing:

But as we’ve seen recently thanks to Manti Te’o and Lance Armstrong, real life is stranger, and often more fictional, than anything marketers can concoct.

An advertising instructor of mine once preached, “Do something that doesn’t look like an ad.” TV shows, news articles, blog posts, fake Twitter personas; they’re all now being used as ways to disguise advertising. And as real journalists become lazier, news outlets become cash-starved, and reporting becomes increasingly shallow, the door is open for brands to look more credible by comparison.

It’s the subject of my new column on Talent Zoo.



About Dan Goldgeier

Dan Goldgeier is a Seattle-based freelance copywriter with experience at advertising agencies across the U.S. He is a graduate of the Creative Circus ad school, and currently teaches at Seattle's School of Visual Concepts. Dan is also a columnist for and the author of View From The Cheap Seats and Killer Executions and Scrubbed Decks.