(This blog post on “flipping the script” will consist of 4 articles on branding and storytelling. Stay tuned to catch’em all.)
I’ve heard the phrase “flip your script” or “flip the script” in various hip-hop songs.
It often means to do the unexpected, to deviate from the norm. I would like to link to storytelling. Before telling you why I would like to share this video with you.
Dear 16-Year-Old Me is Canadian campaign for skin cancer awareness sends a powerful message about what it means to be an adult, reflecting on the past and realizing there?s so much you needed to say before it was too late. The video got over 1 million views in less than 10 days. And all of this with no paid media for this campaign.
The campaign flipped the script!
The video is one long story brought by a cast of survivors openly addressing themselves when they were 16. This story is good example of what I call ?Storynomics? (I am writing a book about this). The makers of this video understand that we are living in the new experience economy where the most trusted people and organizations are the ones that build, produce and tell stories we can connect with. These organizations use stories as a product.
Let?s go back to the video. Sure, it?s a typical ?talking heads? online PSA which features different people. But it?s pretty inspirational. The concept and the content have really struck a chord. Why? Because it works with the power of storytelling. The video clocks in at just over five minutes. In terms of online viewer attention span they sure flipped the script. Even with its 5 minutes long, it?s kind of hard to tear yourself away from it. So instead of making a 30 or 60-second version they decided to tell the full story. I watched it from start to finish and looking at the comments I was not one sitting it right through to the end.
The makers of this campaign probably were a fan of the “Dearmebooks.com site.
If you were to write a letter to your 16-year-old self, what would it say? In DEAR ME: A LETTER TO MY SIXTEEN-YEAR-OLD SELF, some of the world’s best loved personalities have written just such a letter. They range from the compassionate to the shocking via hilarity and heartbreak, but the letters all have one thing in common: a story that offers a unique insight into the teenager who would grow up to be…. Stephen Fry, Kim Wilde, Annie Lennox, Paul O’Grady, Jackie Collins, Peter Kay, Debbie Harry, Yoko Ono and Emma Thompson… to name but a few!
Where the Dear-16-Old
Me campaign really flipped the script was here: Dear 16-Year-Old Me = The Reverse ?It Gets Better? Campaign. Don?t we all know these traditional ?get better communication? most pharmaceutical companies
send out? They sound like this: I had a fantastic life… enjoyed going to the football with son … man, did we had a great time … than I got sick… it was really bad … the worst part was that I couldn?t go to the football with my son anymore… but luckily company X was there … and taking their fantastic medication I started to get better. End of story.
This 16-year-old me campaign is sort of like the reverse these ?It Gets Better? campaigns. Like, ?Hey kids! Enjoy your lives while you still have it, because eventually you will
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succumb to the single disease taking away more lives than anything else.? And they bring this message through real stories of survivors of disease.
So is that easy? Just tell stories? Well, let me dwell on this a little bit more in my next blog post: Storytelling and the old AIDA communication model.