“For saving the kingdom, what doth thou desire?” asks the queen of the knight in this popular television commercial (below), which you’ve likely seen in recent weeks. The knight has just slain a dragon to protect the kingdom, and he can have anything he wants… which, it turns out, is a perfect cup of Nespresso coffee. Between the famous stars—actress Natalie Dormer and actor George Clooney—the Peter Gabriel song “Solsbury Hill” (about a personal epiphany) playing in the background, and the amusing cross-century cultural encounters that ensue, the story of “The Quest,” as the commercial is known, is entertaining.
It’s also absurd. I mean, really: A knight from a bygone century steps through a movie screen into modern-day times and traipses through New York City until he finds the Nespresso coffee his heart desires? Then he takes the whole kingdom on a double-decker bus ride to ensure they all get a cup, too? Seriously? But that’s not the point. The point is, the story is engaging.
Nespresso weaves its story without hammering you over the head. It also doesn’t have a talking head insisting that a taste test proves its coffee beats 4 out of 5 other brands. That would have been boring, and boring isn’t memorable. Rather, Nespresso avoids taking itself too seriously—witness the billboard of George Clooney as himself drinking Nespresso come into view when George Clooney the knight emerges from the subway. It plays on a basic human emotion that those of us who love coffee (and you know who you are) will go on a quest of our own to get the flavor we enjoy most of all.
This is what we mean when we talk to clients like you about the art of storytelling. Storytelling isn’t simply writing down information about a yacht, or a fact about the build, or a memory from your times onboard. It involves weaving nuance and emotion into the threads of the information, or fact, or memory. This gives it color, even a life of its own. It makes it memorable, and enjoyable.
It may not be as funny as gathering an entire kingdom aboard a double-decker bus… or perhaps it will be even funnier. That’s the beauty of your story: It’s yours to enjoy, or to laugh at, as you please.
Let’s tell your story, together.