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Selling Through the Art of Storytelling – Walt Disney Company

Selling Through the Art of Storytelling – Walt Disney Company

“You cannot bore people into buying your product” — Marketing Guru David Ogilvy. To get people’s attention you need to make people forget you are selling a product and instead simply entertain them with a good story. Not just a good story but an engaging, interesting and emotion-provoking story that demonstrates the real value and significance of your product. Constructing a story around a message, makes that message easier to receive and much more memorable. “Content marketing” strives to do exactly this – it, in its finest, is a fine storytelling device. How a person feels about your product largely determines whether or not they buy it. Elicit an emotional reaction to your product by painting a picture people can envision that engages them, that brings them along a journey that resonates with them. Especially now where the market is saturated with products, marketers must construct great stories to pique our interest and make us buy their product over all the other like-products vying for our attention.

Disney – The Storytelling Experts

Disney is an inspirational example of successful marketing through storytelling. Disney primarily tells stories and develops and sells second. They devise a story and then sell merchandise and ancillary products that come out of that story. Disney’s “content marketing” scheme works in reverse of most brands — the majority of brands start with a physical product and then begin a long process of creating a story around it. Disney fabricates a brand story – usually by releasing a movie – and then builds products around these stories.

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For example, imagine if “Frozen,” the movie, never came out and a toy maker came up with the rather niche idea of a snow-themed princess doll named Elsa. No one would bat an eyelash when seeing it on the shelf. The story is what makes the doll marketable – it’s what differentiates that doll from all the other dolls on the shelf. Listen to Andrew Millstein, President of Animation Studios at Disney, talk about the success of Frozen through the art of storytelling marketing.
For marketers that don’t have a global movie to promote our products before their launch (Don’t we all wish we did!) we need to look at everything our brand represents today and create a captivating story around it.  


James Mello
James is the Lead Author & Editor Product2Market of Blog. James writes for the Product2Market blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to Product Marketing.