Stories are the most powerful force for change known to man.
They can influence the way we feel, the way we think, the way we act and the way we behave.
In short, good stories can change the world.
Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous speech which began with the words “I have a dream..” is a great example of a story that became a movement and ultimately changed history.
The flip side of this is that stories can also be used for evil.
You only have to look back to Nazi Germany to see how the persuasive storytelling of Adolf Hitler led to the German people being complicit in the Holocaust.
I think you get their potency.
It’s for this reason that cults rely on strong narratives. The tragic case of Heaven’s Gate demonstrates that even intelligent people can be persuaded to do foolish things if they believe in the story that’s being told to them.
The greatest stories are emotional, novel and memorable. These are the qualities required for a story to have impact and lead to change.
The best advertising understands this implicitly and here are three examples of Cannes Lions Grand Prix winning work that demonstrate this:
As Plato once said, “Those who tell the stories rule society.”