Winning the Story Wars: Why Those Who Tell (and Live) the Best Stories Will Rule the Future

Winning the Story Wars: Why Those Who Tell (and Live) the Best Stories Will Rule the Future

by Jonah Sachs
     
 

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Trying to get your message heard? Build an iconic brand?
Welcome to the battlefield.

The story wars are all around us. They are the struggle to be heard in a world of media noise and clamor. Today, most brand messages and mass appeals for causes are drowned out before they even reach us. But a few consistently break through the din, using the only tool

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Overview

Trying to get your message heard? Build an iconic brand?
Welcome to the battlefield.

The story wars are all around us. They are the struggle to be heard in a world of media noise and clamor. Today, most brand messages and mass appeals for causes are drowned out before they even reach us. But a few consistently break through the din, using the only tool that has ever moved minds and changed behavior—great stories.

With insights from mythology, advertising history, evolutionary biology, and psychology, viral storyteller and advertising expert Jonah Sachs takes readers into a fascinating world of seemingly insurmountable challenges and enormous opportunity. You’ll discover how:

• Social media tools are driving a return to the oral tradition, in which stories that matter rise above the fray
• Marketers have become today’s mythmakers, providing society with explanation, meaning, and ritual
• Memorable stories based on timeless themes build legions of eager evangelists
• Marketers and audiences can work together to create deeper meaning and stronger partnerships in building a better world
• Brands like Old Spice, The Story of Stuff, Nike, the Tea Party, and Occupy Wall Street created and sustained massive viral buzz

Winning the Story Wars is a call to arms for business communicators to cast aside broken traditions and join a revolution to build the iconic brands of the future. It puts marketers in the role of heroes with a chance to transform not just their craft but the enterprises they represent. After all, success in the story wars doesn’t come just from telling great stories, but from learning to live them.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Sachs, cofounder of Free Range Studios, is on a mission to leverage the power of ancient myth and storytelling for the kind of marketing that inspires not just brand loyalty but devotion. After his early success with viral videos Grocery Store Wars and The Meatrix, Sachs became fascinated with how stories that have shaped culture all share a common theme: “people reaching for their highest potential and struggling to create a better world.” Successful brands, entertainment, and political messages, he argues, can all be created by understanding this formula. Sachs frames this messaging in idealistic terms, casting the successful marketer as a person on a mythical hero’s journey. Glenn Beck’s blustering, Dove’s Real Beauty campaign, and Obama’s Yes We Can mantra are all referenced as successful marketing “myths.” Sachs is full of ideas and strategies to help readers give their brands the rare, compelling story that will raise their message above the melee of advertising noise. Despite the occasionally lofty tone, the ideas are powerful and solid, and will make inspiring reading for marketing professionals looking to set their stories apart. Agent: Joy Tutela, David Black Literary Agency. (July)
From the Publisher

Story Wars is a thorough guide for the novice or even practiced storytellers in all of us. Sachs offers story structures, ways of thinking about characters and messages. He pulls artfully from recent brand successes from companies including Nike and Apple. And he tells a few good stories along the way.” — Forbes

“Sachs is full of ideas and strategies to help readers give their brands the rare, compelling story that will raise their message above the melee of advertising noise… the ideas are powerful and solid, and will make inspiring reading for marketing professionals looking to set their stories apart.” — Publishers Weekly

“In this timely, practical, perceptive, and thought-provoking book, Sachs (CEO, Free Range Studios) does a remarkable job trumpeting storytelling as a means by which people can effectively influence others.” — CHOICE

“The book is an interesting blend of marketing and advertising history, mythology, and psychology that pulled me in and kept me turning the pages… the eye-catching illustrations of Drew Beam. Beam's artwork combined with Sachs's writing style kept me glued to the pages… this one has earned a place on my bookshelf and a noteworthy position on my leadership development reading list.” — T+D magazine, American Society for Training & Development

“This fast-paced entertaining book takes on storytelling from the POV of a 24/7 information culture and shares the strategies and tactics that fuel today’s most compelling content.” — Ketchum PR, On the Bookshelf: New Year Reads

“Sachs offers a step-by-step guide to corporate storytelling, showing how brands can use recognisable characters, such as "freaks, cheats and familiars" to create instantly relatable campaigns…Marketers who are able to define the core values of a brand then use them to engage the target audience in a compelling, relatable story are the ones who will thrive in the new media landscape of the "digitoral" age.” — Warc

“His investigation also unveiled a process to help others create winning stories that he shares with great depth and charm in this book.” — 800 CEO READ

“To influence this brave new world, first convince the global media marketplace of your story. The better the story, the better chance of making people think differently.” — Quantas magazine

“In the often superficial, deceptive world of marketing and advertising, social innovator Jonah Sachs is an individual with a conscience...Sachs’s engaging work is a call to arms for anyone who works to influence consumer choices.” — getAbstract

ADVANCE PRAISE for Winning the Story Wars:

Dan Heath, coauthor, Switch and Made to Stick
“Jonah Sachs knows stories. He’s responsible for some of the most popular and respected viral messages of all time: The Story of Stuff, The Meatrix, Grocery Store Wars, and others. This book is a storytelling call to arms, an appeal to tell the stories that matter. So read Winning the Story Wars—and join the fray.”

Nick Coe, CEO, Bath & Body Works; former President, Land’s End—
“History is written by the winners. And as Jonah Sachs makes abundantly clear, it is now being written by the marketers, the new mythmakers of our time. Whatever your product or your cause, if you want it to succeed, read this wise and enlightening book.”

Kumi Naidoo, Executive Director, Greenpeace International—
Winning the Story Wars will convince you that storytelling is the most powerful way to move people to action. And it will teach you to use that power to orient our world to a more positive future. If you’re ready to be a great storyteller, read this book.”

Deepak Chopra, founder, The Chopra Foundation—
“Great leaders transform the world through stories that inspire hope, stability, trust, compassion, and authenticity. This important and thought-provoking book shows that leadership in marketing will require the living and telling of such stories as well.”

Bill Bradley, former US Senator; Managing Director, Allen & Company—
“We know about who we are both individually and as a society through stories. In this brilliant book, Jonah Sachs tells us how we lost our storytelling capacity and how we must regain it, constructing our own myths and living the truth of the stories we tell.”

Paul Hawken, author, The Ecology of Commerce and Blessed Unrest
“In the current maelstrom of media babble and corporate deceit, Jonah Sachs makes sense where none appears to exist. Winning the Story Wars explains why we respond to lies—whether in political or product ads, campaigns or speeches—and how truth ultimately trumps all. This remarkable book delivers on that rare promise of changing how you see the world.”

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781422143568
Publisher:
Harvard Business Review Press
Publication date:
07/10/2012
Pages:
272
Sales rank:
559,038
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.20(d)

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