Social Media Design Insights

The Story Principle In Action


One of my all-time favorite things to do is go on vacation; I am pretty sure you enjoy vacationing too! Summer seems to be the primary time people take vacations and REI, an outdoor clothing, gear and footwear store, decided to create a social media campaign based on the story principle of getting you ready for your upcoming outdoor vacations.


The Campaign

REI’s campaign brings to life stories about swimming with sea lions and enjoying the beach. They also tell of running along sunlit trails and weekend campouts. They are currently featured on Facebook and invite REI’s target audience to visit their website or let them know of any upcoming summer celebrations the audience may have.



The Story Principle

Everyone loves a good story. As kids, we clambered on our parent’s laps begging for yet another story. Also, in school, we followed along in books as our teacher would read them out loud. Then, as adults, we ask each other questions and want to hear the story of how one is doing. Also, when we go camping, we gather around the fire and tell stories of what has been as well as what’s to come. Stories have affected each of us, and they continue to do so even today; this is why the story principle gets utilized in marketing. Stories help the audience connect with your company because it associates the advertisement with something that they already view in a favorable light.

Take for instance this ad created by REI. They share stories of swimming’ beaches and summer fun. Which creates a desire in their audience to be out in the sun, upon the sand, hearing the waves beat against the beach while enjoying the feeling of the water as they glide through it. All the while they show how utilizing their gear helps to make the time out in the sun more enjoyable.

Even though REI did not go into that much detail, the imagination fills in the gaps to create the complete story above. Stories are alluring as they let your audience daydream just as this audience is now dreaming about using the best tools and being dressed in the perfect clothing for their upcoming vacations. Also, each of us dreams of our vacations which is what connects us to this advertising campaign.

The End

Storytelling is effective in social media campaigns. Therefore, each of us needs to be aware of what are audience interests are. Because it is with this information that we can create stories to help them discover who we are and what we can offer them. Just like REI used the knowledge that their audience would need the right type of tools and good quality outdoor clothing for their vacation. Even though the time or place where the audience would go was unknown, they were still able to feature an assortment of styles and tools to tantalize their audience’s imagination. Let’s set to work on creating the next adventure for our targeted audience to go on as they utilize our product or services. I would love to see how you have used this principle so please share a link to your new advertisement with us.


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