Goo Goo About Stories.

The Goo Goo Dolls are coming in December and I won’t be buying a ticket. They’re not my jam. But when I heard they were touring South Africa I was immediately thrown back into the cinema, entranced by the silver screen magic, gripped by Nicholas Cage and Megg Ryan. For someone who’s not a Goo Goo Dolls fan, I can certainly belt out their hit ‘Iris’. You can see the scene in the City of Angels, you feel the heart wrench and pain, and you understand the complexity of love. What a song, what a story!

The song is a story and its connection to the movie. Great songs tell great stories. But not each song tells a story.

“And I’d give up forever to touch you….”.

Stories are about connecting. Connecting ideas, people and places. Joining the dots or drawing a line from point A to point B. Stories have a universal truth played out by the characters, and it is in this use of characters that we are drawn in and become part of the story. Characters in stories build relationships with the audience by using emotion and by getting the audience to invest emotionally into the story. In fact, character-driven stories cause the brain to produce oxytocin (the hormone plays a role in behaviours like social bonding, love and more) and as the story’s tension mounts, and if it is sustained long enough, the listener starts to empathise with the character, and actually share in the emotions of the characters! With that in mind, think about the introductory line of the Goo Goo Dolls song, Iris, it has you gripped to go along for the journey in eight words!

“And you can’t fight the tears that ain’t coming, or the moment of truth in your lies…”

 Stories are about authenticity and the associated vulnerabilities. Real stories resonate with the audience because of the relatability factor. Think about being lied to. We all get it, because it’s happened to us, or we’ve done it. Think about the moment of truth in the story, it is the turning point, or it creates conflict or heightened tension. Stories that are real, connect on a deeper level and have more impact.

“When everything’s made to be broken, I just want you to know who I am…”

Good stories relate to their audience. Good stories know who the audience is. Good story tellers know who I am. What makes me happy, angry, or, sad. In knowing the “I am”, good stories entrench themselves with audiences and become part of the conversation and are more than a song on the radio.

“And I don’t want the world to see me, ’cause I don’t think that they’d understand…”

Good stories can solve complex problems because they understand the problem. In being able to distil what needs to be achieved, it is important to understand the requirements, issues, and aspirations of the audience. Good stories solve problems through understanding and insight.

“When everything feels like the movies…”

Stories work because this is how we’ve shared and learnt as humans our entire lives. If it feels like you’re in a movie, you’re playing out the next story script. We learn through storytelling and this remains a powerful tool. Some days you’re the lead character, others you’re an extra. But you’re always part of the story.

The MediaHeads 360 Team are storytellers at heart and would love to be at the heart of your story.  Let us help your brand to become the lead character or the song everyone sings along to.

I might not be buying myself a ticket to the Goo Goo Dolls, but don’t mind letting you sing along. 

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