This Designer Destroys 2014’s Big Marketing Buzzword, and It’s Awesome
Move over, synergy. There’s a new buzzword in town, and it’s got some tales to tell. Without a doubt, the “storyteller” craze has swept the marketing world in 2014, with everyone from top creative directors to Colin in Accounts selling themselves as a teller of stories. It’s been fascinating to watch here at Contently; we’ve been talking about brands as storytellers for years, and as a result, I’ve found myself acting like a hipster who just found out Vampire Weekend picked up mainstream appeal. I used that buzzword before it was cool, homie. You can tell “storyteller” is here to stay as a buzzword. How? The backlash has already begun! And the best of that backlash came recently when FITC, a Canadian events company for the tech and design communities, released this incredible interview with renowned designer Stefan Sagmeister.
You are not a storyteller – Stefan Sagmeister @ FITC
This might just be the most quotable marketing interview ever, with Sagmeister delivering incredible lines like: “Recently, I read an interview with someone who designs roller coasters, and he refers to himself as a storyteller. No, f—head, you are not a storyteller, you are a roller coaster designer, and that is fantastic!” His Austrian accent takes it to the next level. Once you finish laughing and yelling, “No, f—head, you are not a storyteller, you are a front-end engineer!” at the bewildered developers in your office, you may wonder: Is Sagmeister right? Not quite. We are all storytellers; it’s been the key to our evolution and survival as humans, and the most successful brands are the ones that craft compelling narratives. Later in the video, Sagmeister identifies the “real storytellers” as the people who write novels or make feature films, which is an insanely narrow definition of storytellers. Try telling a veteran journalist for the Times or the Vine whisperer they aren’t storytellers. But Sagmeister’s point is well taken. If you’re calling yourself a storyteller, you should probably have the chops to back that up. And if you’re a roller coaster designer, embrace it. Because that is fantastic. Contently arms brands with the tools and talent to become great content creators. Learn more.