infographic article advertising narrative

Advertising narrative: how to build it

Advertising storytelling, like all forms of storytelling, is a question of manner. The way of telling a story has elements within it that determine it. Furthermore, every narrative has structural elements that characterize it. Connotation, characterization, structure, example. In this article you will find out all this.
May 23, 2024

Storytelling has been part of advertising communication since the 80s. In fact, before, advertisements were very didactic and direct. Then it was understood that characterizing advertising with a narrative offers numerous advantages: what could they be?

Maybe one is one clear differentiation from others. This is because one narration detail remains imprinted in memory and becomes a vehicle of the offer. But there were already jingles for this.

So we need to dig deeper to understand why storytelling has been implemented in advertising.

Let's think about the stories we see at the cinema, that we read in a novel or that we tell someone over a coffee or a spritz. You can only tell a story by aseptically stating the facts. Here, again, pureness would come into play the memory. Maybe some details will strike you more than others... but it just becomes a question of logic. And often you have to make an effort to remind.

head narration with paper that forces itself to think

What goes beyond logic alone is the way we tell a story.

Read on, we'll tell you about it what a narrative is made up of, how to structure it and we will show you an example that contains everything in 3 seconds.

The soul of the story lies in the way

The way where you tell something It totally makes a difference. That's what it's going to characterize and connote the narrative. There characterization refers to the part structural. The connotation refers to the heart. Let's move from the general to the specific.

Let's identify the elements of a narrative:

  • Tone: emotional gradation.
  • Symbols: they frame the context in all senses (cultural, social, ideological…).
  • Language: vehicle and characterization of the information and all the elements in reference to the target.
  • Rhythm: places emphasis on elements, determines attention, modulates emotion and establishes the life of the narrative.

All these elements naturally fit together. We define them to recognize them and give them specific functions, but in reality they often have similar and complementary functions. This because all elements are framed in a theme.

In the case of advertising narrative, the theme is in line with the identity of the brand, with the target and with the specific product and service being promoted.

So the way it is told is expressed through the elements just seen which are framed in a theme.

How to structure an advertising narrative

We have seen in detail the way of telling. But the narrative has other structural elements that you need to create it:

  • Protagonist(s)..
  • Conflict and/or challenge: All great stories have a conflict or problem to resolve.
  • Climax: point of maximum tension that leads to resolution.
  • Central message clear and powerful that reflects the values ​​and objectives of the brand.

These properly orchestrated elements allow you to create an effective narrative. When choosing them, remember the elements we saw earlier relating to ways of telling. Let's see an example right away?

In 30 seconds there is everything you have read. Do you notice that the way of telling stories is sweet and a little nostalgic? See the light, listen to the music. Did you see that the distributor is old? Who do you think this advertisement is aimed at? Tones, symbols, language, rhythm: they are all there and they mix.

As for the last elements there is a protagonist which it has a problem to solve. The climax in this case it is characterized by a twist. In fact, you think the child is buying two Coca-Colas... but then he climbs on them. After a second you realize he's getting on it to buy one Pepsi: here's the resolution. The message? Well… that's all too clear.

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