Storytelling gives our jobs a coherence and a point: it ties together every subjective choice and asserts that their sum is greater than the parts. It dumbly gesticulates toward a unified field theory in which the brand exists in perfect harmony with the company it fronts—as well as all past and future marketing efforts. And it helpfully erases the fingerprints of creatives themselves: “telling a brand’s story” presupposes that some version of the story was always there, waiting to be plucked from the ether by a creative medium and midwifed into tangibility.
In other words, consecrating ads as stories satisfies every meta-marketing objective.
So what’s the issue?
One obvious problem is that most brands have no particular story to tell—at least not anymore.
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