`<br />
Will my story change the Story?<br />
Can my story survive in our age ofinformation overload?<br />
15 M<br />10 M<br />1 M<br />50 K<br />
Thumbnails of follow up SoS’s<br />
“Climate change and 'going green' don't seem like issues that relate to the battle playing out for our country's soul. But...
Questions the notion that the free market can <br />account for human well-being, long-term sustainability or anything oth...
v<br />STORY WARS<br />To know a society’s stories<br />is to know where it intends<br />to go.<br />New stories lead to n...
The Myth Gap<br />
Story<br />Meaning<br />Explanation<br />+<br />+<br />}<br />Myth<br />
The shaman<br />Takes us into a world that is not literally true but<br />contains the wisdom we need to make sense of our...
Genesis<br />Story<br />Meaning<br />Explanation<br />+<br />+<br />
Modern religion<br />Meaning<br />Explanation<br />+<br />
Science<br />Science<br />Explanation<br />
Entertainment<br />Entertainment<br />Story<br />
Designers<br />Story<br />Meaning<br />Explanation<br />+<br />+<br />
“The only myth that is going to be worth thinking about now and in the immediate future is one that is talking about the p...
Story<br />Meaning<br />Explanation<br />+<br />+<br />
Story<br />Meaning<br />Explanation<br />}<br />Is Your Story a Myth?<br />Story<br />Meaning<br />Explanation<br />+<br /...
Broadcast stories<br />Character<br />Conflict<br />Plot<br />+<br />+<br />
The meatrix<br />Freaks<br />Cheats<br />Familiars<br />+<br />+<br />
Freaks<br />
Fill your stories with human-like characters that break the pattern of our expectations.<br />Freaks<br />
Cheats<br />
Tell stories about villains who break cherished norms or rebels who defy hated ones.<br />Cheats<br />
Tell stories people can instantly identify as their own. Give them easy entrance points.<br />Familiars<br />
Cheats<br />Freaks<br />Familiars<br />+<br />+<br />}<br />Is your story interesting enough?<br />
Meaning<br />Story<br />Explanation<br />+<br />+<br />}<br />Is your story a myth?<br />
Meaning<br />Story<br />Explanation<br />+<br />+<br />Cheats<br />Freaks<br />Familiars<br />+<br />+<br />
Jonah Sachs: How To Make Your Story Go Viral with Video Jonah Sachs, Co-Founder & Creative Director,  Free Range Studios
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Jonah Sachs: How To Make Your Story Go Viral with Video Jonah Sachs, Co-Founder & Creative Director, Free Range Studios

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The best stories have the potential to go “viral” online, reaching millions. Hear practical insights from a master storyteller as he shares the keys to leveraging video to engage the masses and inspire people to action.

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  • This is Annie Leonard. And through her story, I want to talk to you about the absolute necessity that everyone in this room learn to tell great stories. The moral of the story is: we all can.nie Leonard. And this is a story about the absolute necessity for our planet that we all learn to tell great stories. The moral of this story is that we all can do it. Annie spent 10 years worrying about the problems of too much stuff. She spent ten years with the data and the trash and the people behind the problem and then she decided it was time to tell the world about it. So she tried, and found nobody wanted to listen to the problems with the “Materials Economy”. And then she decided to turn it into a story, The Story of Stuff. She started forcing herself to talk about every fact, figure and problem as if it were a situation that an individual could experience – could feel and touch. She brought it down to the human scale and suddenly everyone liked it. Funders said “You should bring this to the web so everyone can see it!”:45 (:45)
  • Today our storytellers come in three obvious camps and none are fully willing to take on the responsibility for providing explanation, meaning and story. First, you have religious leaders. They’re all about explanation and meaning. But they resist the notion that they’re telling stories. They claim to be giving literal interpretations of history and fear nothing more than being called mythmakers. As their stories become less literally believable, and they refuse to cast themselves as storytellers, they lose their chance to create our new myths.
  • By insisting that their stories are literally true.Religious leaders have given up mythmaking role because they insist they are literally telling truthStories must be comfortable in the space between reality and metaphorReligious leaders hate to be called mythmakersToday our storytellers come in three obvious camps and none are fully willing to take on the responsibility for providing explanation, meaning and story. First, you have religious leaders. They’re all about explanation and meaning. But they resist the notion that they’re telling stories. They claim to be giving literal interpretations of history and fear nothing more than being called mythmakers. As their stories become less literally believable, and they refuse to cast themselves as storytellers, they lose their chance to create our new myths.
  • Annie is a garbage activist . For ten years she lived, ate and breather garbage.10 years, nobody listenedThen Annie forced herself to tell stories. Turned every fact, figure and problem into something we can touchComplex issue brought to the Human scaleFunders said make it available onlineThis is AnToday our storytellers come in three obvious camps and none are fully willing to take on the responsibility for providing explanation, meaning and story. First, you have religious leaders. They’re all about explanation and meaning. But they resist the notion that they’re telling stories. They claim to be giving literal interpretations of history and fear nothing more than being called mythmakers. As their stories become less literally believable, and they refuse to cast themselves as storytellers, they lose their chance to create our new myths.
  • Brought it to Free RangeTurned her 90 minute lecture into a 20 minute video clip.This is what we did with it.
  • Brought it to Free RangeTurned her 90 minute lecture into a 20 minute video clip.This is what we did with it.
  • Sent out just to friends to the inner circle to bring consistency to messaging.50k views first week. Then 1 M now past 15MTeachers started showing it in classrooms (1500)Celebrity featured in everything from Vogue to NYT magazineWithin a week, the story started spreading and 50,000 people had seen it, They liked it and they start passing it to their friends. And before long a million people had seen it. Within the first year, 10 million people had seen it all over the world and that number is now past 15 million. Teachers across the country started feeling like the Story of Stuff is the perfect teaching tool and more than 1500 of them show it in their classrooms:15 (1:30)
  • Beck hates Annie and has featured her more than a dozen times on his showGotten his supporters to hound and harrass her. Calls her Marx with a ponytailit’s not because he loves stuff.Fiction thriller Overton Window…This is Glenn Beck and he hates the Story of Stuff. He’s featured it more than a dozen times on his show and has mobilized his army of millions of viewers to hound Annie online and off. Why? Well it’s not because he loves stuff. In his “faction” thriller, the Overton Window, Beck’s supervillain is a marketer who invented Pet Rocks and Bottled Water. One of the central tenets of his 9.12 movement is thrift. What he’s reacting to is Annie’s deep questioning of a market system that refuses to account for natural capital, long-term sustainability or anything but short-term corporate profits. To Beck, and Fox News Annie’s story threatens the cherished American lifestyle. As sustainability designers, we know that’s exactly what we have to do if we have any hope for a better future.:45 (3:00)
  • Beck hates Annie and it’s not because he loves stuff.Fiction thriller Overton Window…What he’s reacting to is Annie’s questioning of a market system that refuses to account for natural capital, long-term sustainability or anything but short-term corporate profits. To Beck, and Fox News Annie’s story threatens the cherished American lifestyle. This is Glenn Beck and he hates the Story of Stuff. He’s featured it more than a dozen times on his show and has mobilized his army of millions of viewers to hound Annie online and off. Why? Well it’s not because he loves stuff. In his “faction” thriller, the Overton Window, Beck’s supervillain is a marketer who invented Pet Rocks and Bottled Water. One of the central tenets of his 9.12 movement is thrift. As sustainability designers, we know that’s exactly what we have to do if we have any hope for a better future.:45 (3:00)
  • Beck hates Annie and it’s not because he loves stuff.Fiction thriller Overton Window…What he’s reacting to is Annie’s questioning of a market system that refuses to account for natural capital, long-term sustainability or anything but short-term corporate profits. To Beck, and Fox News Annie’s story threatens the cherished American lifestyle. This is Glenn Beck and he hates the Story of Stuff. He’s featured it more than a dozen times on his show and has mobilized his army of millions of viewers to hound Annie online and off. Why? Well it’s not because he loves stuff. In his “faction” thriller, the Overton Window, Beck’s supervillain is a marketer who invented Pet Rocks and Bottled Water. One of the central tenets of his 9.12 movement is thrift. As sustainability designers, we know that’s exactly what we have to do if we have any hope for a better future.:45 (3:00)
  • Beck hates Annie and it’s not because he loves stuff.Fiction thriller Overton Window…What he’s reacting to is Annie’s questioning of a market system that refuses to account for natural capital, long-term sustainability or anything but short-term corporate profits. To Beck, and Fox News Annie’s story threatens the cherished American lifestyle. This is Glenn Beck and he hates the Story of Stuff. He’s featured it more than a dozen times on his show and has mobilized his army of millions of viewers to hound Annie online and off. Why? Well it’s not because he loves stuff. In his “faction” thriller, the Overton Window, Beck’s supervillain is a marketer who invented Pet Rocks and Bottled Water. One of the central tenets of his 9.12 movement is thrift. As sustainability designers, we know that’s exactly what we have to do if we have any hope for a better future.:45 (3:00)
  • &gt; Annie changed her presentation of facts and her message began to change the conversationThis was a point of view that had been shut out and was now being heardAnd she was being allowed to question some of the core stories that drive our society.&gt; Stories are important. All cultures have used them to define their values, their identity and where they are going.Many say that to know a society’s stories is to know its destiny.&gt; Whether we just want to break through with our message as Annie did or believe that changing the story means changing the world, the lessons of her success are criticalAnnie, by turning her passion for garbage into a compelling narrative, had entered what I call the Story Wars, the hidden battle for myth and meaning that, I believe, will determine our planet’s future. As sustainability designers, we need to master the skills that will gain us entrance to these wars. Our challenge is huge because we need not only grab attention in an incredibly media saturated world, but we also need to shift the deep stories people carry with them. We need to be savvy entertainers and master myth makers. So why are these story wars happening? Well human beings have always shared stories, or myths. to make sense of their world. Creation myths, hero stories, gods, demons. Myths make cooperation possible by creating a sense of “us”. When you share the same stories with someone, you’re likely to share the same values and identity. And myths make war possible by creating a sense of “them”. So stories are powerful. And where there’s power there’s struggle for it.:30 (3:30)
  • The first thing to realize is that people everywhere, though overwhelmed by messages these days are desperate for stories like Annie’s.This is because we live in what I call a Myth Gap
  • • Define mythThe Myth Gap is all about the fact that we’ve lost our traditional myths. A myth is a neatly packaged way to combine explanation, meaning and story. Think of genesis. It’s a story that explains how the world was made (by god, in seven days) and what the meaning of life is (to serve him). A perfect myth package. Religion used to hold a monopoly on these kinds of stories, but as we know those stories are breaking down and it’s not clear exactly what will replace them.
  • Think of genesis. It’s a story that explains how the world was made (by god, in seven days) and what the meaning of life is (to serve him). A perfect myth package. Religion used to hold a monopoly on these kinds of stories, but as we know those stories are breaking down and it’s not clear exactly what will replace them.
  • Explain genesis as a perfect packageClearly a story, told in mythic sacred language. Somewhere between reality and metaphor&gt; Science and cultural diversity have brought the old myths into question and the places we’d expect to find new ones haven’t been able to provide them.&gt; Look how religion has responded to a more complex world though.
  • By insisting that their stories are literally true.Religious leaders have given up mythmaking role because they insist they are literally telling truthStories must be comfortable in the space between reality and metaphorReligious leaders hate to be called mythmakersToday our storytellers come in three obvious camps and none are fully willing to take on the responsibility for providing explanation, meaning and story. First, you have religious leaders. They’re all about explanation and meaning. But they resist the notion that they’re telling stories. They claim to be giving literal interpretations of history and fear nothing more than being called mythmakers. As their stories become less literally believable, and they refuse to cast themselves as storytellers, they lose their chance to create our new myths.
  • Scientists fail because they aren’t responsible for meaningDon’t want to be called storytellers
  • &gt; Movie makers, fiction writers, TV producers love stories but they don’t take responsibility for much more.Some notable exceptions but most just want to provide amusementWhere are our mythmakers?
  • Designers of products and ads have been comfortable in that roleSell explanation of ways to live through products they pushImbue products with meaningAnd love to live in that gap between reality and fictionThis is why this country has consumed more resource in last 50 years than all of humanity before Builders of consumer culture have dominated. But people are becoming deeply uncomfortable with the myths they’ve created. And this is our opportunity.Now designers of products and the designers who market those products have been comfortable for decades filling the myth gap. This is why our society, once based on the puritan values of thrift and modesty has come to consume more resources in the last 50 years than all of humanity that ever came before. Our crisis of unsustainability comes from the fact that the evangelists of consumerism have mastered mythmaking. Now I know they have more money than we do, but the man who studied myth and probably knew more about them than anyone else said that we sustainability evangelists actually have a more powerful advantage.
  • Joseph Campbell studied myths from all times and across all cultures. And he saw a pattern in the ones that survived and truly resonated with peopleThe patterns he found looked very different than your traditional consumption myths. All myths are about creating better world.And left a clear picture of the future myths He said that the stories that survive that really matter are all about one thing: creating a better world. When Bill Moyers asked him what the next great myths would be about, just before he died, he left a pretty clear picture:
  • Annie filled the myth gapSimplifying without dumbing downExplanation: how the world worksMeaning: discussion of happiness and bringing it down to human scaleStory: made it compelling and personalLeveraged the winning formula and added a true vision for a better world. And she… won!This can help us demystify Annie’s success and repeat it!This is why Annie Leonard became a sensation. She boldly stepped in to fill the myth gap and people were just waiting, ready to respond. By simplifying the issues so they were graspable but not dumbing them down, SoS provides powerful explanation of how the world works. In its discussion of happiness and personal experience around consumption, she questions the very meaning of our modern way of life and allows room for alternative meaning. And of course, by bringing it down to the human scale, she provides a great, compelling story. This is the winning formula for any communication we create as sustainability designers.
  • Must seize this formulaAsk ourselves if we’re doing in this in all of our campaigns and hold ourselves to this standard.Also realize the tremendous opportunity in the end of the broadcast era Intro Digitoral eraStorytelling has changed. We need to look at how.So it’s absolutely critical if we want to move minds that we seize this opportunity The first step is asking ourselves if our communications are providing a strong balance of these three elements. Of course this is still just scratching the surface. This green circle here “story” is a lot easier said than done. And because they way we communicate has changed so dramatically over the last decade, the practice of telling stories has evolved too. I now want to give you a framework for telling amazing stories in the Digitoral Era, the post broadcast age when stories are passed from willing participant to willing participant much the same way they were in ancient oral traditions.
  • We can go deeper in finding winning formulas though when we realized how our landscape has changed.Lazy in the broadcast traditionTypical formula of character, conflict and plotShort attention spans, info overloadNeed new insight, mine is that brains not evolved much in 70,000 yearsLess variation between two people across the world than two chimps in a forest.We’ve evolved very little since we left Africa. And our brain structure is very much the same.What got our attention then gets it now.Oral tradition has created stories that evolve through survival of the fittestIn the broadcast tradition, we got a little lazy with our stories because audiences were captive, and we got a little stuck in the idea of the simple model of character, conflict and plot. But in the frenetic world of the Digitoral tradttion where stories are everywhere, attention spans are short we have a much higher bar. And we need a deeper insight into stories. My insight is that the human brain has not evolved much at all in 70,000 years and what we found worthy of our attention then, we’ll find worthy of our attention now.
  • Spare you the gruesome imagery usually associated with factory farm campaignsNeedless to say, it wasn’t breaking through any more than annie’s garbage rants.
  • FreaksBrains devoted to recognizing other humansMost important to take note of is those we don’t recognize, who break the pattern of our expectations.This is why gods and heroes often look like this. We love these stories.Thumbnail obsessed culture, more important than ever that we find characters that break our patterns of expectation.Freaks. As social animals a huge portion of our brains are taken up with recognizing and interpreting other human faces. We notice other people much more than we can grasp facts or situations or arguments. But the kind of people that most grab our attention, that provide the most danger and opportunity are what I call Freaks. People who break our expectations. Our ancestors rarely met others from outside their tribes, when they did, they perked up and took notice insitictively. This is why all myths contain not just human like characters, but freakish human like characters. We need characters that instantly stand out to grab our attention.
  • Brought the issue of factory farming to human scaleHad the issue play out in the lives of iconic charactersLeo, Moopheus, ChicketyMade them human, but freakish humans. Anthropomorphic animals are one of storytellers’ favorite kinds of freaks.But characters who break our expectations in any way can work
  • People love stories of rebellion and punishmentNeeded to insure altruism works. Natural selection and altruism is a paradoxShare the kill can only be held together if people feel assured that cheaters will be punishedStories build that trust and become self fulfilling prophesies. Some say the whole idea of God comes from this need for reassurance.Sisyphus punished for breaking norms about reciprocation and hospitalityBreak norms we like and you’re a villainBreak norms we don’t and you’re a rebelPeople love stories about cheats/Cheats. Another theme that makes stories irresistible to people is the theme of rebellion and punishment. Social groups that can cooperate have an evolutionary advantage over those who don’t. But cooperation is a bit of a Darwinian paradox. It’s not natural. To share the kill, we need to assure each other that rules will be upheld by all. So we tell stories that convince us and ourselves not to cheat. Why is Sisyphus pushing this boulder? Because he didn’t follow the norms about hospitality. We love stories about villians who challenge norms we like being punished and stories of rebels who challenge norms we don’t being successful.
  • &gt; Made the metaphor of factory farming as a hated norm and our heroes as rebels.That’s why calling out factory farming as a hated cultural norm and casting our iconic characters as rebels made the story instantly engaging and seemingly important to people.
  • Even though we revel in the novelty of freaks…Our brains wants to know a given story is designed for our tribe, we can transpose it onto our lives as we know them.The freaks we love have analogs to our experience. Why all cultures have gods as forces of natures. Makes that bridgeOur stories must make a bridge between the familiar and the unknown.Here we made the story feel like an inside joke with a huge swath of culture who were familiar and loved the iconic Matrix series.Finally, the human brain seeks a counterbalance to its love of freaks. While we love novelty, we also desire to know that stories are designed specifically for us, for our own tribe and that they provide explanation for life as we experience it. This is why we love to hear about Gods who inhabit the heavens but also the world of our perception, like fire gods, lightning gods or sea gods. But connecting our factory farming story to a major cultural icon, we added powerful familiars that made the message comfortable to everyone and, critically, an inside joke t a smaller but significant subset of the population. The result? Over 20 million views and more than $5 million dollars worth of earned media.
  • No choice but to embrace the role of mythmaker and change the storyThis is the formula for getting startedTo bring about a more sustainable future, we have no choice but to write new myths. We now have the communications tools and the potential to tell the kinds of stories people are dying to hear. We now need to embrace our role as mythmakers and infuse every communications strategy with Explanation, meaning and Story, Freaks, Cheats and Familiars. We can re-create the successes of my friend Annie and shift the conversation a few million people at a time.
  • No choice but to embrace the role of mythmaker and change the storyThis is the formula for getting startedTo bring about a more sustainable future, we have no choice but to write new myths. We now have the communications tools and the potential to tell the kinds of stories people are dying to hear. We now need to embrace our role as mythmakers and infuse every communications strategy with Explanation, meaning and Story, Freaks, Cheats and Familiars. We can re-create the successes of my friend Annie and shift the conversation a few million people at a time.
  • No choice but to embrace the role of mythmaker and change the storyThis is the formula for getting startedTo bring about a more sustainable future, we have no choice but to write new myths. We now have the communications tools and the potential to tell the kinds of stories people are dying to hear. We now need to embrace our role as mythmakers and infuse every communications strategy with Explanation, meaning and Story, Freaks, Cheats and Familiars. We can re-create the successes of my friend Annie and shift the conversation a few million people at a time.
  • Annie, by turning her passion for garbage into a compelling narrative, had entered what I call the Story Wars, the hidden battle for myth and meaning that, I believe, will determine our planet’s future. As sustainability designers, we need to master the skills that will gain us entrance to these wars. Our challenge is huge because we need not only grab attention in an incredibly media saturated world, but we also need to shift the deep stories people carry with them. We need to be savvy entertainers and master myth makers. So why are these story wars happening? Well human beings have always shared stories, or myths. to make sense of their world. Creation myths, hero stories, gods, demons. Myths make cooperation possible by creating a sense of “us”. When you share the same stories with someone, you’re likely to share the same values and identity. And myths make war possible by creating a sense of “them”. So stories are powerful. And where there’s power there’s struggle for it.:30 (3:30)
  • Jonah Sachs: How To Make Your Story Go Viral with Video Jonah Sachs, Co-Founder & Creative Director, Free Range Studios

    1. 1. `<br />
    2. 2.
    3. 3. Will my story change the Story?<br />
    4. 4. Can my story survive in our age ofinformation overload?<br />
    5. 5.
    6. 6.
    7. 7.
    8. 8. 15 M<br />10 M<br />1 M<br />50 K<br />
    9. 9. Thumbnails of follow up SoS’s<br />
    10. 10.
    11. 11. “Climate change and 'going green' don't seem like issues that relate to the battle playing out for our country's soul. But that's because we often look at them in a vacuum… Leaders who want more government control over our businesses, economy and personal lives can't simply snap their fingers and get it – they need a vehicle to take them there. My contention is that climate change is that vehicle.” <br />The Individual/ Free Enterprise<br />The <br />Collective<br />America’s<br />Soul<br />Hero<br />Villain<br />Stakes<br />
    12. 12. Questions the notion that the free market can <br />account for human well-being, long-term sustainability or anything other than short-term profits. <br />Free <br />Enterprise<br />Run Amok<br />Our Global<br />Future<br />The<br />Collective<br />Hero<br />Villain<br />Stakes<br />
    13. 13. v<br />STORY WARS<br />To know a society’s stories<br />is to know where it intends<br />to go.<br />New stories lead to new <br />values, new identity<br />and a new roadmap to the<br />future.<br />
    14. 14. The Myth Gap<br />
    15. 15. Story<br />Meaning<br />Explanation<br />+<br />+<br />}<br />Myth<br />
    16. 16. The shaman<br />Takes us into a world that is not literally true but<br />contains the wisdom we need to make sense of our world. <br />Story<br />Meaning<br />Explanation<br />+<br />+<br />
    17. 17. Genesis<br />Story<br />Meaning<br />Explanation<br />+<br />+<br />
    18. 18. Modern religion<br />Meaning<br />Explanation<br />+<br />
    19. 19. Science<br />Science<br />Explanation<br />
    20. 20. Entertainment<br />Entertainment<br />Story<br />
    21. 21. Designers<br />Story<br />Meaning<br />Explanation<br />+<br />+<br />
    22. 22. “The only myth that is going to be worth thinking about now and in the immediate future is one that is talking about the planet and not this city and not these people but the planet and everybody on it. That's my main thought for what the future myth is going to be.”<br /> – Joseph Campbell<br />
    23. 23. Story<br />Meaning<br />Explanation<br />+<br />+<br />
    24. 24. Story<br />Meaning<br />Explanation<br />}<br />Is Your Story a Myth?<br />Story<br />Meaning<br />Explanation<br />+<br />+<br />
    25. 25. Broadcast stories<br />Character<br />Conflict<br />Plot<br />+<br />+<br />
    26. 26. The meatrix<br />Freaks<br />Cheats<br />Familiars<br />+<br />+<br />
    27. 27.
    28. 28. Freaks<br />
    29. 29. Fill your stories with human-like characters that break the pattern of our expectations.<br />Freaks<br />
    30. 30. Cheats<br />
    31. 31. Tell stories about villains who break cherished norms or rebels who defy hated ones.<br />Cheats<br />
    32. 32. Tell stories people can instantly identify as their own. Give them easy entrance points.<br />Familiars<br />
    33. 33. Cheats<br />Freaks<br />Familiars<br />+<br />+<br />}<br />Is your story interesting enough?<br />
    34. 34. Meaning<br />Story<br />Explanation<br />+<br />+<br />}<br />Is your story a myth?<br />
    35. 35. Meaning<br />Story<br />Explanation<br />+<br />+<br />Cheats<br />Freaks<br />Familiars<br />+<br />+<br />

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