When you think of great stories, you probably think of things you connected with emotionally. Sweeping images and great characters and locations instead of rational content and lists of facts.
That concept is followed by Tourism Australia, where Chief Marketing Officer Lisa Ronson says companies shouldn’t be overly rational with customers. It’s a common trap for many brands to over-explain things to customers. Consumers are surrounded by so much noise in today’s busy world—the best way to cut through the noise and make an emotional connection is to ignore being rational. Ronson says the best storytelling is grounded in what people know, but then moves forward. People can’t connect emotionally to a list of facts. After all, an emotional connection, not a rational explanation, is what drives us to change our behavior.
Tourism Australia followed that idea with its Super Bowl commercial that re-created a fake Crocodile Dundee movie trailer with Chris Hemsworth and Danny McBride. By tapping into a sense of nostalgia and fun, it was able to relate with customers on a different level and build an emotional connection with Australia.
Instead of embarking on a massive campaign, Ronson and her team focused on quality over quantity and decided to do fewer things but to make them more compelling and really reach out to customers to create an emotional connection. The main idea was fewer, bigger, better. It’s a stark contrast from many marketing efforts that aim to be louder and flashier than the competition, but it paid off for Tourism Australia and made their commercial the most watched from the Super Bowl.
In order to be effective storytellers, Ronson also says that organizations need to look at who they are targeting. The most effective organizations target their audience based on attitudes and behaviors instead of demographics. Attitude is a much better indicator of consumer behavior, which is why Tourism Australia focuses on high-value global travelers instead of one particular demographic.
Focusing on attitudes and behaviors helps marketers better understand changing customer trends. Today’s customers want genuine, unique experiences. They want to be able to connect with people around the world, especially as they travel. Part of the reason Ronson believes the Super Bowl commercial was so effective was because it highlighted the down-to-earth and welcoming nature of the Australian people instead of just listing reasons Australia is a good place to visit.
No matter the story we tell, Ronson sums it up correctly by saying we’re all human. There is always something that connects us emotionally, and it’s up to marketers and storytellers to find out what that is.