Why Telemarketers are the Worst Brand Storytellers

There’s a certain feeling I get, and I’m sure we all get, when I answer the telephone and am greeted by a telemarketer. There are a few feelings, actually. Sort of like the five stages of grief.

First, I feel a bit foolish, as if I’d been tricked into picking up the phone. This is especially true when it’s a number I don’t recognize yet I answer anyway on the off chance that it’s an emergency. From there I get impatient. I have no idea how long this person wants to keep me on the phone and I immediately start thinking about all the other things I have to do instead of listen to their sales pitch. Surprisingly, I then feel empathetic, since I too am a marketer (albeit one with a very different approach to sales) and wouldn’t want someone hanging up on me while I’m just doing my job. It isn’t long before I become angry, having been interrupted by an unwelcomed marketer of a product I surely don’t need. If they won’t let me get a word in edgewise, after trying to politely say “Thanks but no thanks” I will hang up.

That’s one end of the spectrum—the absolute worst way to be sold a product or service.


10 Brands Doing Post-Advertising Right: Fall Edition

Each week, our social media team at Story hops on a conference call discuss the latest and greatest in the world of social media, content marketing, brand storytelling and the like. While most everyone would admit that meetings are rarely fun, I look forward to this call because I love to talk social-media shop. 

Considering how quickly marketing happens in the post-advertising age, we aren’t able to cover everything on the blog and a lot of great work that we discuss on our weekly call falls through the cracks. In the last year, we’ve made it a point to highlight the brands each season that have embraced Post-Advertising and have focused their efforts on creating engaging content and igniting movements that spread.

It’s been six long months since our last edition, so let’s get on with it! Here are Ten Brands Doing Post-Advertising Right: Fall Edition.


Getting Hairy For Charity: The Waxed Promise of Movember

Movember. Manliest of all months, this philanthropic sensation has made its mark by having men around the world pledge, for one month, to grow the ultimate icebreaker and conversation starter: a sweet ‘stache. Since its inception in 2003, $178 million in worldwide donations, for the purposes of men’s health, can be attributed to this most glorious strip of hair. In less than ten years, how did it get to this?

How did one charity turn perhaps the definitive symbol of machismo into a highly effective charity badge? What part have brands played in the process, and what can those still watching from the sidelines learn from well-aligned brands? Cause marketing has entered the 21st century, and you better believe it’s sporting a ‘stache.

Scot Chisholm - Classy Awards

Proof from the Classy Awards that Great Stories Spread

On November 7th, 2010, attendees from around the United States descended upon San Diego to recognize the top philanthropic achievements by charities, businesses, and individuals at the Classy Awards. I've always believed that the people and brands who tell the best stories win, but it's a special experience to actually see this idea in action, changing the world. The speakers in attendance were masters of narrative persuasion, inspiring me to grow a mustache and fight poverty in Africa, at the same time.

Celebrating Movember

Merry Movember! Now even non-Williamsburgers have an excuse to grow a ‘stache. It’s Movember—“Mo” for moustache, “vember” for November. Say what? Men across the globe are spending 30 days growing and grooming their moustaches. And, um, why? To bring awareness of and funding for the cancers that affect men.