009-The-Marketing-Stories-We-TellBy, Carl Hartman. President, Brand.gineering.org

I grew up with the advantage of growing up in Los Angeles. Everything is there: smog, crime, and the heaviest traffic in the world that operates on the world’s biggest parking lot. Everything else is there: business, sports, culture, entertainment and the happiest place on earth… …Disneyland. My dad worked for a company that sold cheap tickets to all employees for Disneyland every quarter. These were the days when a trip to the park cost about $14 and my dad still complained that with his automobile club membership, he only got a buck or two discount.

It was the 1970’s and Vietnam and Watergate were still fresh in the public psyche. Disco and bell-bottom pants were en vogue and I didn’t care. I loved what Walt Disney created because it was more than rides; it was stories. Walt got it! He evoked emotions that captured people’s hearts. A roller coaster was a mountain in the Swiss Alps or a futuristic adventure in space. Disneyland is not a theme park – it’s a story park. I love stories. That is why I make movies and television for a living. Stories move people. I like that.

This video interview with veteran Hollywood producer Peter Guber and life coach Tony Robbins really solidifies what we have been saying for many years about the importance of using stories to connect with your customers. It gets down to emotion and relationship. I talk about story a lot. I’ll keep saying it; to be an amazing brand, you have to tell amazing stories. Why? Emotion and relationship! Story experiences that convey the emotion, lifestyle, and relationship connected to a brand will win – hands down, every time – over a brochure or advertisement.


A few years ago, I had the great fortune of meeting Randy Pausch, famous for his “Last Lecture: Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams” and esteemed professor of computer science at Carnegie Mellon University. Sadly, he is gone almost five years. Randy did a lot of work with Disney Imagineering and took a great deal of time to work with me as I developed models for Interactive Television and the future models for television when I worked as an executive for one of the major television networks. He told me how much work went into creating the story behind a Disneyland ride. The lesson he taught me was that the story and atmosphere created for Disney ride is as important as the ride itself.

This motivated me to create models for monetizes Internet and interactive content beyond the current models that depend on advertising, banner ads and content interrupted by commercials.

The video above with Peter Guber and Tony Robbins is extremely important. We have been explaining these same principles to our clients for almost two decades. Advertising was dead the minute it started; it was doomed from the beginning. Advertising makes few genuine connections with the customer. Does it work? Yes. Is it the most effective and profitable method? No. Effective marketing depends on relationships and creating content for your brand that creates authentic relationships.

Set a strategy for the future of your marketing that includes using an experienced storyteller, like our company, to connect with your customers. Replace your advertising with story-based marketing content.

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Carl Hartman is a former executive with a major American television network, reality television producer and co-founder of Brand.gineering. His best-selling book Brand.gineering: A 14-Step Powerful & Profitable Brand Development Blueprint for the Digital Marketing Age, is available exclusively on Amazon.