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Storytelling that Moves People

  Everything has its own story; passing people, television dramas, and even the pebbles and trees. These stories grasp people’s attention and move them in the same way as when we cry tears of emotion or feel anger after watching a movie or reading a novel. Web toons such as Black Behemoth, advertisements, oral narrations, and even self-introduction essays also all contain stories. What kind of stories around us are able to allow the listener to empathise with them?



Storytelling Move People

Before I introduce stories that are around us, let me explain why cultural phenomenon which has stories are dominant these days. Well, here’s the secret. The reason why there are medias and Self presentation that contains story is because they have ‘The power that make people move’. Wow. Isn’t this amazing? Let me show you how storytelling exerts its power by introducing two moving stories to show proof.

First Case is about a negative social effect, ‘The Papageno Effect’. Papageno effect is an effect that occurs when the media’s storytelling about suicide is specifically and smoothly presented. When media displays suicide in a certain way, suicidal can be prevented too. This effect offsets ‘The Werther effect’, which means that ‘The person who reads a negative story related to suicide identifies himself or herself with the person in it and attempts suicide.’.


 Austria has a story which is related to Papageno effect. Austria was a country which was called ‘The Suicidal Republic’ for having the third topmost suicide rates in the world after subways were installed in the 1980s. Through researches, it was known that the methods that media chose to report suicide have impact in those high suicide rates. The media had portrayed contexts, articles about suicide and how the dead people choose to suicide. By choosing soft and positive words when the writhe articles, the media even beautified the fact about self-murdering. So to change the way of media’s storytelling about suicide, ‘The Proposal of Recommendation on Suicide Reports’ was announced for the first time among all nations. This announcement was to reform the media’s ways of storytelling and by that, explain suicides are meaningless and tragic. After six months from this, suicide rates decreased more than 80%. This became an example which shows that the way the media describes suicide affects the readers.


 Another case is a positive one. This case is about a positive Public Advertisement which has a moto of ‘Change your words, Change your world.’ In the first scene of the ad, a blind man calls for help to the people on the streets, and only thing with him is the box which has the words ‘I am blind. Help me.’ written on . Although time passed, not one pedestrian helped him. However, after a woman approached him, gave money to him, and changed the words that were written on the box, people started to donate to the blind man. The changed words were, ‘It would be such a beautiful weather, but I’m unable to see it.’ They were the same words in meaning, but they were differently described. By paraphrasing and using story in the lines, people inside the Ad were moved.

 In these two cases, people were moved because they were sympathised and have concentrated on the  storytelling. Now you might guess why there are media and many people that use storytelling.: To move people’s mind.


Storytelling are around us

 Maybe you might wonder, what exactly is ‘storytelling’ and what storytelling is a good storytelling. So from below, I want to introduce to you different cultures and how those culture did a good storytelling about what they want to tell.

Media Storytelling

 To start, I want to tell you about Media who had done a good storytelling. First media I want to introduce is the famous TV program Infinite Challenge. It is Korea’s longest-running entertainment program which has a variety of program formats. The program is organized by corners such as competing, goal-achieving, and developing, each in a storytelling type.


Among these, ‘The Butterfly Effect Special’ tells the story of ‘How the cast’s environment-destructive actions done unconsciously rebounds back to them as the butterfly effect.’ As the cast turn on the air conditioner on the first floor, the outdoor unit located on the second floor melts the ice. The water flows down to the first floor, which becomes flooded. The story of global warming is unfolded by the stages of carbon emissions, global warming, the melting of polar glaciers, the rising of sea levels, and the sinking of the Maldives Islands. This episode’s viewer ratings were 15.2%, which was the highest among the ones broadcasted on that month. This shows that the topic meant to be delivered was well told in the story.

  Like this, the storytelling was done excellently for the audience to concentrate on the story carried out by the casts, which is one of the factors that leads Infinity Challenge to success.



Another media I want to introduce to you is Web Drama ‘72 Seconds TV’. It’s a web drama of seventy-two seconds with a short story created by a contents company ‘Seventy-Two Seconds’. During the video’s short running time, the story is told interestingly by factors like witty progresses and background music. One of the episodes, ‘Undercover’ tells the story of a detective who is after a suspect who moves from a restaurant to another. As the detective shows description about food, the other one disagrees and starts to explain his conclusions about junk food.

Till now, we have seen two media programs that did their story telling well, and succeed well too. But there are not only media that did their story telling well. That’s right. There are still more. Next, let’s see Ads which did a good storytelling and did a magic trick on people’s mind.

Advertisement Storytelling

  We see many advertisements everywhere. Many of them are catchy and breathtaking. This is because Ads told their stories well and efficiently. There are two examples of the well story-told advertisements. One is the Ad about a famous energy drink ‘Hot Six’. The advertisement series was called ‘Attention, Youths!’ This series is targeted to young people such as college students and company workers that are main customers of their product. The story they told in the advertisement were the mistakes that we make because of the youths are so busy and exhausted living. One of the ads tells a story of a university student who had finished the project that he made all night long and by mistake, deleted it. Ads of this series became popular, making Hot six the top energy drink and earned money about sixty billion won after the series.


Another advertisement that told their story well is ‘Hello: The word that links minds’ from LG U plus. This is a 15 second advertisement shown before watching videos in YouTube. This Ad series has a touching story to make people continue seeing the ad and not skipping it. ‘Hello’ Series, which was first shown at 2016, April 15, tells stories about customers who have soldier in a family and uses a special phone which is made only for Soldier and his or her families to call each other. Solders and his or her family have not much time to say Hello to each other. So in that short word of hello, there is a many minds and meaning in it. U plus collected the stories of these minds, which were about 2520, and made it into a 3 minute ad. This story was well presented to the people who were watching this ad and as a result, the full-ad itself gained a 1,656,256 views.


Movie storytelling

 The Third Storytelling that I brought you to see is Movie storytelling. ‘Snow piercer’, ‘Saw 1’ and many other famous movies also have a characteristics that they did their storytelling well. Among them I want to introduce two movies, ‘FROZEN’ and ‘Inside out’.

Let’s start with ‘FROZEN’. Until ‘FROZEN’ was released, the music inside Disney movies were not that important. So if someone skips the part where the character sings, it was easy to understand the story because it was irrelevant. But ‘FROZEN’ was different. Songs like ‘Do you want to build a snowman’ had a big part of the story. In 3 minutes, the song tells us The Relationship between Elsa and Anna (The main characters), their personality, and Current situation, and The Background of the story. Another Song ‘Let it go’ tells the emotion and change inside the main character Elsa. The lyrics and lines and the beautiful appearance of the movie delivered the story of Elsa ‘Let it go’ Received a big public interest because the song did a well job of storytelling. It ranked the top of both international and domestic Gaon chart. As you can see from the rank of the chart, because song played an important role to tell the story. Movie’s popularity high as the song too. The movie gathered Korean audience as many as it could rank Top11 of all movies, and 2nd of international movies, and 1th of animation movies.


 Everyone might know Animation movies that ‘PIXAR’ Made. PIXAR is famous for placing ‘Story’ the top priority of overall process when they make a movie. They even has a ‘PIXAR’s 22 rules of storytelling’ The rules are such as  You got to keep in mind what's interesting to you as an audience, not what's fun to do as a writer. They can be v. different.”, “What is your character good at, comfortable with? Throw the polar opposite at them. Challenge them. How do they deal?” Based on these rules, PIXAR makes stories about love, friendship and growth etc. The most resent and famous movie was ‘Inside out’ released in 2015. The Movie tells a story about 5 emotion living in the main character’s head. The Storyline of Riley’s growth, Adventure of Joy and Sadness, The memories that we go thorough, The ways to accept each emotion are all presented in the movie inside out. These many topics were well placed and told to over 4,969,745 people who watched the movie and made profits of 8 billion 5160 Thousand dollars. This made this movie the 66th in the world wide box office

 These were each media and cultural things that did a good storytelling and moved people’s mind. Now you might know that storytelling has power and they can actually move people. We can do storytelling ourselves like movies and advertisements that I have introduced above. In fact, you might have already done it. I have brought one of the storytelling that individuals can do on their own to introduce to the readers below.  


Telling my own story

 As Storytelling gained popularity, the method of storytelling myself became popular too. This is called ‘Personal Storytelling.’ Especially for us college students, we need an ability to story tell ourselves when we write a letter of self- introduction or have to talk in front of the people who will give jobs to us. We need to know how to tell our story naturally and efficiently to others. So INHA times met Kim Tae Wook, The CEO of Story N. He is an expert on a Personal Storytelling and doing Self PR.


The INHA Times (IT): Why do you think Personal storytelling is being popular?

Kim Tae Wook: Referring from my book <Strategy of Personal Storytelling>, there are two reason why it became and is being popular.

First it is because we are living in an era of Personal Branding. Unfortunately, Organizations such as Companies and Institution can’t take care of one forever. One’s skill and ability became important because of this. As a result of these trend, ‘Personal brand’ became a big part of our lives. So Storytelling, the way to show my personal brand became popular among people.

Second it is because of Communication. As media became rapidly different and diverse, World full of content has come. This is not a good environment especially for one person to outstand from others. Too many people lookalike. Not many personality has been differentiated. To overcome these walls we are facing, the logotional way to tell who I am is ‘Storytelling.’ This is because ‘Story’ draws a Specific picture for people to remember.

IT : How shall Personal storytelling affect us university student?

Kim Tae Wook : To do Personal storytelling, We need a strategy. We need to get a plan about what path we shall walk and how could I make it possible for me to walk there. The sayings from my lecture “Specialize by Storytelling, evolve from story-doing.” “Professionalism and Evolution” is the key word to do that. Find what you can specialize by looking back what path have you taken. Evolve by finding how you can specialize your own story and make it special. I did this whole thing when I was your age. The storytelling advertisement that I have met when I was in university made me, ‘Storytelling Man’

IT : How might Personal Storytelling change in the future years?

Kim Tae Wook : Personal Storytelling will be more and more important. Naturally, Storytelling culture will increase. Because of this, the quality and quantity of storytelling will be more developed. Especially young people, who does SNS such as Blog, Facebook and Instagram, will make their own story and present it. These trend might lead to wrong strategy and corrupted veracity. They might make fake story and do wrong things just to make their story more interesting. We need a good strategy by drawing a picture of how and what order shall we present our story and how I can deliver my story’s authenticity. I hope I had just an over care about the storytelling’s future.

IT : Is there anything that you want INHA students to keep in mind?

Kim Tae Wook : Mythology Scholar Joseph Campbell said “Story is the Hero’s journey.” Everyone is a hero of their own story and a main character. Remember that you are a hero of your own life. Write your own story of your campus life as well as your social life. Then, though you are knocked down and tired of weeping alone, you will get a strength to get back up and make the right decision and move on.

Blog Ref : www.pr0bang.com

Book Ref : <Strategy of Personal Storytelling>



 Story makes people concentrate on it. The reason why people who listens to that story laugh and weep is because of this Power of Story and Good Storytelling. So it naturally gets to play a big part when I want to deliver the topic well. Thus, to say to the world what I want to say and to deliver it well, we should practice our storytelling and move people by it too.


조수진  chosujin96@naver.com

<저작권자 © 인하프레스, 무단 전재 및 재배포 금지>

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