Lessons from CommsCon: Brands who've conquered storytelling

Lessons from CommsCon: Brands who've conquered storytelling

Author: Alice MacLaverty — Read time: 4 mins

One of our favourite talks at CommsCon18 was a discussion about storytelling, led by some of marketing’s top execs, including those from Virgin, Adobe, HSBC and Wings Creative Leadership Lab.

We scribbled down stacks of interesting advice on how to tell your story, how it should fit with your internal communications strategy, and the importance of data and measurability. Have a read of these in detail here.

The panellists also shared some of their favourite examples of storytelling from the past year, all of which the audience seemed to love! We thought you might be interested in watching them too:

Tamara Bennett, Head of Media Relations, Virgin

Virgin Holidays - Everyone can take on the world

After research highlighted that only one in 20 LGBT+ travellers are at ease showing affection to a partner abroad, Virgin Holidays decided something needed to be done.

In response, they created a short film that really put things into perspective, imagining what it would be like if straight couples were treated with the same prejudices gay couples are. Virgin highlighted how this can affect couples’ time on holiday - time that should be spent relaxing and enjoying each others company.

Whilst conveying a serious message, the light-hearted delivery makes the campaign more memorable, with a different perspective highlighting the ridicule and encouraging audience empathy.

This film is part of a three-year campaign to tackle discrimination from LGBT+ travellers and staff, and uses founder Richard Branson’s voice to leverage it in line with his beliefs and values.

Kelly Bergl, Group Comms Manager for Adobe

Hidden Treasures of Creativity - The Original Brushes of Edvard Munch

Many artwork masterpieces, as well as the tools used to create them, are kept out of sight in museums to protect them from light and UV damage. Some museums, like The Met in New York, have started to release their collections online to make them more accessible to audiences.

To celebrate the digital preservation of masterpieces online, Adobe teamed up with The Munch Museum in Oslo to create digital versions of the 100 year old paint brushes used by Edvard Munch to create his artworks. The individual brushes were digitised using 360-degree scans and analysis from art historians on his brush stroke and artistic style. With these installed into Adobe’s Creative Cloud software, the brushes could be appreciated by digital artists around the world, while sparking a broader movement to keep traditional art alive.

The campaign generated 35,000 new subscribers by making something that was initially exclusive, accessible to a whole new generation of artists living in a digital world.

Gabriela Lungu, Founder of Wings Creative Leadership Lab

Bihor, Not Dior

As fashion giant Dior’s 2017 pre-fall collection featured a couture jacket which referenced (or some would say, appropriated) traditional Romanian jackets, it hit stores with a price tag of €30,000. While steeped in history and cultural significance, the fashion house gave their source of their inspiration no recognition at all.

Unfortunately, this is a story that’s all-too-common in the fashion industry.

In response, Romanian fashion magazine, ‘Bihor Couture’, launched, - a hit at those big fashion brands poaching traditional, cultural designs. Their collection helps local creators to sell their clothes, supports communities trying to keep traditions alive and allows Romanian designers to get the recognition and appreciation they deserve.

Natasha Plowman, Global Head of Campaigns for HSBC


HSBC surveyed 6,000 businesses to gain insight into their views on exports, their plans for the next 12 months and how they felt about the emerging issue of protectionism in international trade.

The results were shared in a series of videos to show HSBC’s audience they understand the world they operate in and are focused on helping them achieve growth.

LADBible attended CommsCon too, and shared these great social media content tips.