I was 11 years old when Toy Story hit theaters—too old to play with toys. Even so, the movie resonated with me in a deep way. I had always imagined my toys having their own personalities, so it made total sense to me that they would have private lives and adventures of their own. The world Pixar created was just a half step sideways of the one I lived in. It felt real—and secretly, I wished it was.
Storytelling is an extremely important trend in brand communications. Take a moment and watch this video from Always, circa 2009. Now, watch another video from Always, circia 2014. These videos illustrate a fascinating shift in brand marketing that's been happening over the past few years: The shift away from messaging and toward storytelling.
When scrolling through the canon of iconic marketing moments, this scene from the holiday classic A Christmas Story perfectly encapsulates the modern consumer's emotional reaction to most brand experiences: We've all been in Ralphie's shoes before.