Storytelling to Inspire Action: Shaun MacGillivray at TEDxChapmanU

To The Arctic film poster

People such as Shaun MacGillivray re-affirm my belief in the power of story. They remind me why I’m so passionate about this subset of marketing; storytelling to inspire action.

Watch.

Shaun MacGillivray’s mission is clear.  He’s concerned over climate change and the environment. Through his One World One Ocean campaign he’s using storytelling to inspire people to take action to protect our oceans.

The Story of the Polar Bear Family

After an 8 month filming period over 4 years in the Arctic, Shaun and his team gathered enough footage to create an awe-inspiring documentary based around a polar bear family.

7 minutes into the video Shaun discusses how he found his protagonists (the heroes of a story).  During their last expedition, Shaun found his main characters, a mother polar bear and her 2 cubs.

The desperate Polar bear family were trying to survive in a rapidly changing environment and harsh conditions. 8.25 into the film Shaun documented incredible footage of the strength and persistence of the mother polar bear to protect and care for her cubs.

By telling a story rather than regurgitating facts and figures, Shaun managed to gain the attention of millions of people and inspired them to take action.  This is the incredible power of storytelling.

Can Storytelling Change the World?

over 25 million people saw Shaun’s movies and iMax films.  Viewers included politicians, policy-makers and kings.

After seeing the film Coral reef Adventure, the King of Ghana was so moved that he changed his country’s deforestation policy, “eliminating clear cutting which causes siltation” to better protect its natural resources.

Senator Mary Landrieu of Louisiana screened the film “Hurricane on the Bayou” to members of congress to help support their landmark Wetlands Conservation Bill.

A Poll was conducted after the screening of the documentary “To the Arctic” and the results were conclusive:

  • 60% of viewers said they were motivated to learn more about the arctic.
  • 86% of viewers said the film would influence how they vote on future environmental issues
  • 88% of viewers said they were inspired and more likely to make environmentally-friendly decisions.

The proof is there. Storytelling can inspire action for the betterment of society.

Lessons For Brands

Brands can also use storytelling to inspire action.  The key is authenticity and a firm belief in an idea bigger  than the immediate product or service you’re selling (your inner circle).

Get this right and you can inspire immediate action in your customers and gain them for life.

Now Over to You…

What do you think of Shaun MacGillivray’s storytelling strategy? Does it inspire you to take action to save the Oceans? Can you see how this relates to your brand?

Share your thoughts below…

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