Storytelling – it’s much more than just telling a story

We can never underestimate the power of storytelling. What makes storytelling more than just telling a story is the meaning behind the words, the visual journey, and the way messages are brought together with clarity. Storytelling is about raising emotions, being expressive, and bringing the audience on a journey that is long-lasting and memorable. You know, the way you get tingles after watching something and how you can’t stop thinking about it.

One recent example of brilliant storytelling was the Western Sydney University’s advertisement about a refugee student who came from war-torn Africa, studied and became a lawyer . I still get emotional when I watch this.

What’s incredible about this storytelling is:

  • The premise of the story – young boy torn from his mother’s arms, thrown into war, finding refuge in Australia and ending up a lawyer through hard work and dedication
  • The use of high impact visual cues – guns, explosions, war
  • The use of powerful and emotive music
  • Sharp and emotive language – forced, smuggled, free man, protect, fight, courage, determination.
  • The drawback to love, family and childhood connection

The combination of all of the above make for powerful viewing.

It’s brilliant, and the rest of the world agrees with the clip going viral and reaching over 2 million views on YouTube and international press coverage to boot. It even drew its own parody, perhaps a sign of its success.

Sure we can poke fun of these types of stories, but the impact is far reaching, and people talk about them for a long time. It certainly threw Western Sydney University into the international spotlight for all the right reasons.