The soldier in the helicopter looks down as tracers zip across the ground. The helicopter is spotted by the enemy. The tracers grow closer, brighter, as the enemy attack the helicopter. The soldier braces himself as the helicopter drops rapidly out of the sky, preparing to land.
Then, suddenly, a blast of pain in his legs. The soldier prays. He looks down at his legs.
What happened next? Well, we’ll come to that later but that’s just one of many introductions to stories in the book Battle Scars, by Jason Fox, ex-Special Forces soldier and co-presenter of SAS Who Dares Wins, the Channel 4 Series in which contestants are put through a recreation of the SAS selection process. We’ve been working with Jason and his fellow presenter Ollie Ollerton (who is also about to release a book of his own stories, Break Point, on May 2nd) because they, and we, believe that the stresses of being in business and in the Special Forces are surprisingly similar, and examining the connection can be useful and revealing (more on this in a future blog). And there’s another strong connection between our business and the Special Forces that has brought us together: marketing is about telling great stories and military lives create them.
Storytelling is powerful. Stories unite people and drive stronger, deeper connections between us, helping us understand each other and, in the case of Jason and Ollie, enabling us to discover experiences that we otherwise could never know. By using stories in marketing we can go beyond communicating what a product can do to express the values that the brand represents. In this fragmented media world, storytelling is vital to get your message heard. Consumers are far more likely to listen to a brand if they feel they’re going to be informed, amused, entertained and moved by it, rather than just sold to. Storytelling is one of the most powerful ways to breathe life into your brand because a ‘brand’ is largely a collection of ideas and attitudes, and the best way to express ideas is through storytelling.
Strong, gripping storytelling also keeps your attention till the end. So, if you’re wondering what happened to Jason in the helicopter after that blast of pain, read on…
As Jason looked down at his legs, he realised he hadn’t caught a bullet or a piece of shrapnel. Instead, his nervous system’s ‘flight-or-fight’ response had caused him to instinctively grab at his thighs with great force, his fingers clutching so hard he caused himself pain.
However, when Jason released his grip, this oddly did not relieve the pain. Stranger yet, there was still a hand clutching his thigh.
The hand was the hand of the soldier next to him. In that sudden ‘flight-or-fight’ moment, Foxy and the soldier beside him had gripped each other’s thighs.
A strange story of an incredibly stressful situation, but, like many of the best stories, one that is touching, revealing and true.
LAW Creative is a multi-award-winning integrated marketing communications agency that can deliver memorable creative success for your business. Let us get to know you and we’ll find the true story about your business that will be truly compelling for your target audience. To find out more, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Picture above: Storytellers Jason Fox, Brett Sammels of LAW Creative and Ollie Ollerton
Books by Jason and Ollie: