All good stories are about people.
And human-like robots.
Take Jade Rabbit:
Jade Rabbit is a Chinese lunar robot with the heart of a philosopher and many followers on Sina Weibo, a Chinese equivalent of Twitter.
Unlike its mute predecessors, this Lunar Lander waxes poetic, even when it encountered a problem from which it likely would not recover.
It spoke about its likely demise:
“I’ve said a lot today, yet still feel like it’s not enough,” Jade Rabbit said through the state-run Chinese news agency Xinhua that likely crafted the narrative.
“I’ll tell everyone a secret. Actually, I’m not feeling especially sad. Just like any other hero, I’ve only encountered a little problem while on my own adventure.”
“Good night, planet Earth. Good night, humanity.”
Jade Rabbit’s words touched millions:
When it unexpectedly sprang back to life a couple of weeks later, millions cheered.
Sure beats a media release:
How much attention do you think it would have gotten had the Chinese space body had simply issued a media advisory announcing that Lunar Lander 203938u39u (or whatever) had ceased operations?
But this one got Patrick Stewart:
So there was Patrick Stewart. On the Daily Show. In a home-made Jade Rabbit costume. And he was reciting the then ill-fated lunar lander’s final words.
Patrick. Freaking. Stewart.
All stories are really about people:
The only time your brand story can really be about a thing is when that thing is anthropomorphized like Jade Rabbit.
That means all of your storytelling content writing must also be about people.
We learn about the brand and the product through people: customers, employees, donors, people in the community, etc.
And that doesn’t just go for content writing.
It goes for every offline activity too.
The big fancy lab opening for donors who have given millions of dollars?
It’s not about the work benches and microscopes:
It’s about the children whose lives will be saved there.
And the researchers who cared about having a new lab so much, they collectively were one of the largest donors to the project.
The campaign to raise awareness about homelessness?
It is not about numbers.
Or homes. Or walls. Or doors.
It is about people, real people, with real stories, who are working their way into a better life because of stable housing.
We are story-based creatures.
And every story is about someone not something.
Just ask any robot.
Photo: Jonathan McIntosh