Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Using websites to tell stories

Yesterday I came across a post on the Zeus Jones blog about websites as storytelling. The poster talks specifically about using HTML5 to create one page sites as storytelling devices. These tend to be long scrolling sites like Lost World Fair’s Atlantis and Nike Better World, as mentioned in the post.

But I think there's something to be said about looking at your site, no matter how you build it, as a way to tell a story.

Most brands use their websites more like a brochure. Who we are. What we do. What we create. How to reach us. All of these items tend to be treated as one-offs that are not necessarily connected. They are factual points of information.

But, why? Why can't these sites be created in such a way that they actually tell the story of the brand? There's no reason why they couldn't, or shouldn't. Some of this is inherent carryover from the early birth of the web, where sites were created more often by tech savvy folks, and less by marketing people.

The crutch of a familiar system is still used today. It's a collection of links to pages that are fleshed out bullet points. When you don't see it, it's usually some microsite for a particular campaign. The corporate site must remain as a brochure. It's a level of comfort.

Let's start making them uncomfortable. Advertising, whether its on or off-line is about storytelling. We can do more with the websites we create to tell that story (using HTML5 or not).

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