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Storytelling in Marketing: How Emotions Can Create Engaging Content

Written by: Joyce Claravall
March 31, 2020 • 6-minute read

Storytelling in Marketing

In a technology-driven world, great promise lies behind rapid digital advances. The exponential changes in recent years have allowed companies to automate processes and collect data more efficiently. While creative and marketing industries now have the right tools to reach out to their target audiences, they also compete with other elements that take their market's attention away.

During Get Craft's event called #FEELS Learn to Create Content that Sets Emotions in Motion, several key speakers shared how companies can digitally transform themselves by integrating traditional concepts with technological platforms. In order to attract, engage, and ultimately convert your leads, the answer lies in storytelling.

Content marketing engagement

From left to right: Marlon Borreo, Joy Aquino, and Enzo Marcos. Speakers of #FEELS Learn to Create Content that Sets Emotions in Motion held last 23 October 2019.

The Power of Telling Stories

History proves that storytelling was used to record events, pass on values, and entertain crowds. Whether oral or visual content, stories were used to build nations and encourage cultural identity.

In a time when humanity gets lost in technology and feels disconnected from the human touch, storytelling is more important than ever. Instead of shouting out your brand offers and services, stories that elicit emotions and build human connections are effective tools that help attract your target market. 

Here are three tips to help you create effective content:

1. Be Inspirational

According to Buhay Basket's Director and Founder Enzo Marcos, great brands don't sell products. Instead, they sell emotions. As a media company that was founded on the team's collective love for basketball, he emphasized their search for truth and inspiration. When creating content on well-known or local athletes, he likes asking: what is your goal in life? 

These stories highlight the subject’s perseverance amidst their problems in a documentary format so that viewers feel like they have watched a short film rather than a commercial. Enzo allows his interviewees to speak about what they care about, making the audience feel proud of their sport or nationality. This is all done without placing the brand anywhere in the video—not until the credits flash on the screen. 

The sentiment remains the same in marketing. No matter who your customers may be, they have a goal that they need to achieve. Writing about the answers to their questions will allow them to view your brand as a thought leader in that industry. 

2. Know Your Ending

McCann Worldgroup's Marlon Borreo can be credited for Jollibee's famous commercial called “Vow”. Building on Enzo's main point of telling a truthful, relatable story, he tells us that we need to tell the truth well to keep our audience's attention.

He gives a few tips to help writers create an effective story without having to wait for the lightning of inspiration to strike. By using Jollibee’s ad as his example, he illustrates how we can all tell good stories.


By using what he calls tissue paper ideas, he wanted to focus on the pain of unrequited love. He reduced the story to what he wanted to see by the end: a bride walking down an aisle and passing a man who is captivated by her presence. Marlon tells the group that the secret to a good story is to focus on the tension while keeping the story simple

While the story of a bittersweet love has been retold onscreen and on paper, the actor’s performance showed affection, pain, and acceptance through the lover’s eyes instead of saying it all in the script. He tells us that he chose to leave some details out to tickle people’s imagination. Even in Jollibee’s sequel to this heartbreaking ad, it was never revealed why the lover and his beloved did not become a couple.

Instead of putting Jollibee’s products at the center, Marlon made it the setting for this story, a spectator to friendships and loss.

3. Get Personal

After Marlon’s insight as a content writer, Joy Aquino shares her perspective as a Director and Cinematographer from Spectrum. Before officially starting her presentations, she tells us this: “Anyone can be a creator of experiences.”

All the knowledge I possess everyone else can acquire but my heart is my own.

Wolfgang von Goethe

The emotions that we try to convey come from deep, personal experiences. She challenged us to ask ourselves who we are: How do you perceive life? What are our morals and values? How do we react to certain things? Since our answers aren’t universal, the playing field is diverse.

In her direction of a music video for a Filipino artist called Abra, she set up the set with dark colors to add to the haunting imagery of a man tormented by his vices. Because she knew how cockfighting games are set up in grim neighborhoods, viewers see the destruction of man through Joy’s perspective. By the end of the song, people are left with complicated thoughts and feelings. 


Her advice is to remain empathetic. When clients give a brief, we need to understand who their target market is and the message they want us to convey. By combining these two elements with our personal experiences, we can discuss an old topic from a new perspective.

When the event drew to a close, all three speakers agreed that the media material (i.e. information in the form of words, sounds, and graphics) is king—as content creators, we need to serve it well. Instead of listing down our business’ good attributes to tell them why our audience should buy from us, we can use narratives and storytelling to show them why our business exists .

By turning simple stories into inspirational, thought-provoking ones, we can hold our audience’s attention in a world full of distractions.

Need help setting your content strategy into motion? StraightArrow provides quality content marketing to build your online presence and support your inbound marketing efforts. Partner with us and learn more about our content writing services.

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Joyce Claravall
Joyce Claravall
Joyce is a Senior Content Marketing Specialist at StraightArrow who harbors a love for great stories. She likes playing Stardew Valley, listening to musicals, and reading up on current events. She believes in saving the best for last: so she eats the crust of the pizza first. Despite being bad at karaoke, she’s willing to give a bad rendition of any Ariana Grande song.



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