In the movie Stripes, Bill Murray explains why guys in the Army always get the girl, "it's the stories they tell." The Olympics are doing the same thing. NBC told the story of speed skater Chad Hedrick the other night. I wanted to see some hockey action, but instead they started telling this guy's story of how he grew up at roller skating at his Dad's rink and his many years of rollerblading. I got caught up in the story and wanted to see him win. The next thing I know I'm watching the long track races and I realized these races are like 6 minutes a piece and I am watching them. A few minutes ago I could care less.
By creating a compelling story I was converted from disinterested to engaged. Marketing Guru Seth Godin's new book called All Marketers are Liars is about this very topic. Our job as marketers is to do the same- communicate a message through great story telling.