Winning the Story Wars

Why Those Who Tell - and Live - the Best Stories will Rule the Future

Jonah Sachs, Winning the Story WarsJonah Sachs

... "we must begin each effort starring into a deep chasm. On one side is the reality that audiences are more skeptical and resistant than in any time in history. On the other is the fact that these same audiences, when inspired, are willing and able to spread their favorite messages, creating a massive viral effect for those who win their love... The nature of audience-powered success is that it can't be simply imitated and it can't be bought." Jonah Sachs

The Story Wars are all around us - they are the battle to be heard in a world of noise and clamor. In our post-broadcast world, most brand and cause messages are swallowed up and forgotten before they reach the light of day. Just a few have been able to breakthrough this clutter by using the only tool that has ever moved minds and changed behaviors - great stories.

Welcome to a Big Picture Channel Podcast on TotalPicture Radio with Peter Clayton reporting. Joining us is first-time author Jonah Sachs, the co-founder and CEO of Free Range Studios. His work on legendary viral videos like The Meatrix and The Story of Stuff series have brought key social issues to the attention of more than 65 million people online. A constant innovator, his studio's websites and stories have taken top honors three times at the South by Southwest Film Festival.

Winning the Story Wars (published by Harvard Business Review Press), is a call to arms to build iconic brands and causes in service of a better future. And it's an invitation to see today's marketing challenges as an adventure through a world of wonder, danger and limitless opportunity.

Since the 1950s, marketers have claimed the powerful role of mythmakers in a world out of touch with its traditional meaning stories. These marketers - legends like Stanley Resor, Edward Bernays and Leo Burnett - revolutionized society, but in the process,turned the power of myth on its head. Where once our great stories called us to adventure, higher values and citizenship, most of our current myths play on fear, insecurity and an endless need to passively consume.

This story strategy had its day, but with the death of the broadcast era, audiences are seizing power back and ushering in a new, digitally empowered oral tradition. Now they don't consume messages, they share them, make them their own and decide which live and which die. And today's audiences are loudly demanding the kinds of stories that the human mind has always preferred - stories of uplift and empowerment.

Winning the Story Wars traces the quiet supremacy of Empowerment Marketing from the early days of Volkswagen, Apple and Nike to the viral breakthroughs of Yes We Can, theTea Party movement, The Story of Stuff and Patagonia. It offers three simple tools any brand can use to break through, earn fans and become an icon: Be Interesting, Tell the Truth and Live the Truth.

True to its name, the book immerses readers in entertaining and important stories - the adventures of Moses, the Bhagavad Gita, the creation of the atom bomb, the rise of theArab Spring and the unexpected birth of the viral marketing era. It offers insight from neuroscience, comparative mythology, advertising history and psychology. And like the great stories that came before it, Winning the Story Wars casts the reader in the role of unlikely hero, full of potential to contribute something truly meaningful to the world.

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