Brands, when creating content, should aim to tell compelling stories. And this is exactly what Expedia was doing with its “Find Your Understanding” video featuring a real-life father coming to terms with his daughter marrying a woman.
The emotional video has, in just over two weeks, received about 2.2 million hits and thousands of likes and comments. AdWeek spoke to Expedia.com’s VP and GM Joe Megibow about the video, who says that the reason for making it was not to be political.
“We were looking for stories,” he said. ”What we liked about this one is, while it is certainly very friendly to marriage equality, if you step back away from all of the politics and the contention of the topic, it’s really a story about the father. It’s a message you don’t hear spoken about a lot.”
The main goal, Megibow explained, is not to hone in on the LGBT demographic. “We’re trying to build some long-term brand messaging here,” he said. “But this was not a, ‘Let’s carve out a specific audience and go heavy into that audience and try to do damage to our competitors.’”
Expedia plans to creating similar spots, despite the expected detractors.
“We’ve got some other great really moving stories coming,” Megibow said. “They’re all very personal. They’re going to be very real topics … and stories that we believe are worthy to be told.”
Forbes’ Phil Johnson says that good brand stories are emotional and “take people on a journey where there is a transformation between the beginning, middle, and the end.”
As Paddy Harrington of Fast Co Design points out, brands will endure if they master the art of storytelling, just like Expedia has.
“Stories speak to our deepest questions about our own existence,” she said. ”They become the source code for who we are and who we want to be. For corporations to survive, they need deeply compelling stories at their heart.”