Why Storytelling Beats Advertising

Updated: May 1

We've all seen a heartwarming commercial on TV that we particularly enjoyed. On the contrary, I can't remember any "typical" advertising commercials that I can remember.

I often think about this particular Mercedes Benz commercial:


This commercial beats any commercial that attempts to "sell" something.

For example, no one enjoys watching a commercial like this:


I did not leave that advertisement "with a smile." It lacked everything that I would want to spend my time watching, especially if I'm already annoyed my TV show has been interrupted.

Despite the interruption of my show, the Mercedes commercial told a story. If you watched it, which I hope you did, you most likely wanted to keep watching.

That's the power of storytelling! No one wants to watch a commercial, but everyone wants to watch a story. Our culture is shifting into a time where old advertisements mean nothing and could potentially hurt your brand image. The most effective commercial is associating your product, whatever it may be, with an emotion.


Audiences are much more intelligent than advertisers give them credit; they can fill in the blanks.

In the Mercedes commercial, the vehicle associates with adventure, romance, and family. We learn stuff about the car simply from the story, without even saying it. Audiences are much more intelligent than advertisers give them credit; they can fill in the blanks.

  • Adventure: Because of the snow element in the story, we learn that the car can travel perfectly fine through rough conditions.

  • Romance: The teens in the story would not have shown up for their date had they not have a Mercedes.

  • The father in the story was there for his son. Because he bought a Mercedes, he could provide for his son.


This commercial has additional deeper themes, all within a video designed to sell more cars. People love heartwarming stories and if your brand is attached to that story, you've won.

Stop making commercials. Make stories.

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