HBO Max recently added The Nanny to its lineup, and I’ve been gleefully rewatching all six campy seasons. If you’re not familiar with the plot, it’s a classic romantic comedy. It’s clear from the first episode that the nanny, Fran Fine, will end up with her handsome boss, Broadway producer Maxwell Sheffield.
And yet, I find myself devouring episode after episode. What keeps me coming back? Certainly not the suspenseful plot. Personally, I love the theater references, the Lucille Ball-inspired antics of Nanny Fine, the punny humor, and the loud costumes.
I know I’m not alone. The show is experiencing a renaissance on its new streaming home. And while I was deep in a Nanny-binge the other night, it struck me that there’s a valuable lesson for brands to learn here.
The New York City mayoral race is heating up. With dozens of candidates in the field and the June 22 primary date fast approaching, many voters are starting to pay attention.
Andrew Yang, former presidential candidate and current mayoral frontrunner, is pretty regularly trending on Twitter. And it seems like every time I click on his name to see why, he’s getting dragged by the Twitter mob for saying something wrong.
It’s not anything gravely offensive, nor is it anything that undermines his legitimacy as a candidate. It’s just, for lack of a better term, rookie mistakes.
Case in point: April 11 is National Pet Day. Obviously, this is a made-up internet holiday, and therefore, acknowledging it is 100% optional. People who have pets are welcome to post a cute pic, but there’s no need for anyone else to get involved.
I believe storytelling can be the key to connecting with your audience on a meaningful level and building long-term relationships with your customers. It has the power to transform the way you market your business.
But that comes with a caveat: Empty storytelling is worse than no storytelling at all.
Today I was scrolling through Instagram and happened upon a Facebook post for Women’s History Month. The video features a diverse group of women leaders throughout history and asks viewers to “#ShoutOut a leading lady in your life.”
If you know me, then you know I am a vocal, ardent feminist. So why am I deeply irked by this message from Facebook?
Many marketers (myself included) talk quite a bit about storytelling. We say it empowers you to connect with your audience, and it’s the key to building deep, lasting relationships with them.
But the word storytelling is broad and, in my humble opinion, often misunderstood in a marketing context.
When I talk about brand storytelling, I’m not talking about telling the story of your brand. Counterintuitive, non? But there's a reason for that. Frankly, your audience doesn’t need your whole life story.
Aristotle was a busy guy who was passionate about many things, but his love of theater and storytelling was noteworthy. He is considered the first theoretician of theater, and his Poetics offers a framework for understanding theatrical storytelling.
In Poetics, Aristotle outlines the six key elements of tragedy: plot, character, thought, diction, melody, and spectacle.
Aristotle’s elements of tragedy continue to influence storytelling today. And by examining the aspects Aristotle identified as critical in crafting a compelling drama, modern marketers might unearth new, creative ways of sharing their brands’ stories.
Let’s walk through the six elements and consider how they come into play in a modern marketing context.