“We connect the world one story at a time”
Here at All Good Tales, we love brands who tell great stories. Whether they are small and local or international corporations we recognise great brand storytelling and try to learn from it. Our Passionate about Stories series looks at storytelling from organisations of all shapes and sizes. The series gives us an opportunity to learn from brands we love and develop our storytelling skills.
Great Big Story
Great Big Story is a global cinematic storytelling media company owned by CNN Worldwide. With their headquarters based in New York and offices in London, the company creates micro-documentaries and short films which have been viewed by millions of people all around the world.
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Their mission? To “search for stories showing a sense of optimism for the world … because goodness can grow through the smallest cracks in the sidewalk.”
While both working at CNN, Chris Berend and Andrew Morse came up with the idea for Great Big Story in 2015. Berend wanted the company to be “fundamentally optimistic, but not naive or sunshine-y.”
Having started publishing videos in 2015, Great Big Story’s YouTube channel grew to 1.6 million subscribers in 2017. It now currently stands at almost 3.1 million subscribers. The growth in audience reach has resulted in the brand moving from 2-3 minute videos to 10-20 minute videos that are produced documentary style. Having travelled to over 100 countries around the globe, Great Big Story is capturing the attention of audiences all over the world as they tell raw and honest human stories.
As of June, Great Big Story have introduced new guest editors to oversee the videos being produced. This ensures that fresh voices and stories are introduced consistently.
But how do they achieve their successful storytelling methods?
Here at All Good Tales, we help companies find their magic slice. It’s the common ground between the stories you want to put out in the world and what the audience wants to hear. Great Big Story do this by basing all their content and stories under 5 different categories, Human Condition, Frontiers, Planet Earth, Flavours and Origins. Furthermore, each category is broken down into subcategories.
By narrowing down their story topics, their audience knows what content they can expect from the company. It allows Great Big Story to find that ‘magic slice’ middle ground.
There are 65 kinds of dosa to choose from at Anand Naynar’s food stall, but let’s be honest—we’re getting the pizza dosa. #GreatBigBites pic.twitter.com/O5Kz30FczW
— Great Big Story (@greatbigstory) November 28, 2018
One thing that all good stories have in common is the ability to emotionally connect with the audience. Stories range from ‘Terminally Optimistic: Celebrating Life by Confronting Death’, the story of a 19-year-old girl living with Cystic Fibrosis, or ‘Poland’s Golden Cheese Tradition’, the story of a 15-year-old cheese-making tradition. Great Big Story manages to capture emotions in everything they do. The power of people’s stories told in a video format creates a deeper connection with an audience and helps with the company’s mission of changing the way everyone sees the world.
Great Big Story knows their audience and knows where their audience hangs out. In an interview with NewsWhip, Director of Audience Intelligence Khalil Jetha explains that the target audience are ‘intellectually curious’ young people. He describes the videos as a cross “between the grittiness of Vice and the optimism of BuzzFeed.”
Their authentic videos are socially relevant and are specifically edited for social media. The videos are created in a shareable format to ensure they are watched worldwide. Great Big Story have amassed a loyal following with their Facebook page reaching 5.5 million likes alone.
On a small island, off the coast of Okinawa in Japan, the world’s most precious kimonos are crafted using a very unusual element: mud. This #GreatBigStory was inspired by @GenesisUSA. pic.twitter.com/k4fnzMPO5e
— Great Big Story (@greatbigstory) November 27, 2018
By tapping into human connection and the curiosity people have with the world around them, Great Big Story are a great example of a company who understand the power of digital storytelling.