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.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.