10 Nov The art of Remembrance
As marketers we know the easiest path to having your brand or product remembered is through good storytelling. Across generations and cultures the art of storytelling has been used to share knowledge, create myths, define heroes and villains, persuade others and recount history. There is no more effective tool to reaching someone than through the sharing of a story.
With the annual Remembrance Day being observed this week, my mind has been on a different kind of storytelling – veterans and acting servicemen and women recounting their experiences. And more importantly, those stories being listened to and truly ‘heard’.
My personal experience reaches to my Grandfather who, as an underage volunteer from Scotland, fought in the First World War. But I know very little of his experiences in the war, as my Mom told me, “He never liked to talk about it”. What I have are just a few impressions of “the mud, he talked about the mud being everywhere, of being constantly covered in mud” and the facts of “he was buried from a mortar shell explosion, and had to dig himself out”. These images play across my mind with visuals inserted from movies or books filling in the blanks of a world I can’t imagine, don’t want to imagine really, because it’s hard. No one wants to think about these things.
And yet that is exactly what we must do. We must listen. We must ask to hear the stories. We must retell the stories we do know. We must make our own children listen. Because without people to hear their stories, the stories will become lost. And, I believe, the essentially human function of sharing a story helps relieve the burden of those who carry it.
So this year, I aim to practice the art of Remembrance. Please join me.