Want to Connect with Hearts and Minds? Use Storytelling

Updated: Jun 6, 2019

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I don’t consider myself a storyteller per se but I am truly fascinated by storytelling. In fact, I love it so much that I wrote a master’s thesis that investigated how it is used in retail store design. Recently, I had the honor of leading a very talented creative team consisting of a producer, an illustrator and voiceover talent on an exciting storytelling journey with a broad, national impact.

The Secretariat from the Office of the Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas needed to share complex information from a State of The Nation report. The report is part of Vision 2040 Bahamas - the National Development Plan (NDP) for the country. The NDP is a non-partisan strategy to guide the development of The Bahamas over the next 25 years around four pillars - human capital, the natural and built environment, the economy, and governance.

Making Complex Facts Relatable and Relevant

The findings in the report were complex, sobering and at times, hard to digest. The challenge was conveying this information in a way that it would easily connect to a mass audience, include a call to action, and change paradigms about societal norms.

We had to really understand the primary audience and the purpose of the deliverable in order to creative the right product and get the desired outcome. The solution was storytelling with a whiteboard video. Whiteboard videos are a great way to make complex information easy to understand. The story was based around a teenage hero character that was relatable to a broad cross section of the audience. Complex issues were introduced in an authentic voice from the hero’s perspective. This was especially important to build trust with younger audiences.

Adding Meaning, Driving Change

Stories are powerful tools. They give meaning without defining, allowing the viewer to make sense of things in the most meaningful way. In this case using a narrative allowed viewers to understand how things that they may not ever have thought about — cultural values, climate change, increasing national debt and weak governance — greatly affect their daily lives.

The video was well received at the launch ceremony for the National Development Plan. I hope that the everyone who watches it, from school children watching TV with their families to the delegates at international conferences, will feel the change that this powerful story can bring.

Watch the short version shown at the launch of the National Development Plan below:

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I'm a strategic marketing communication consultant who works with premium brands to tell compelling brand stories, guide perception, drive engagement and build loyalty to win hearts and wallets. Find out more about me at, follow me on Twitter @royanndean and Linkedin.

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