People don’t buy brands anymore—they buy stories.

And why not, we’re naturally wired for them. Ever since the days when early man gathered round a fire, we’ve been telling tales. Today, though, instead of a fire, we’re gathered around our digital devices watching videos—and for many, that means YouTube, which is watched one billion hours each day.

And if that’s not enough to make marketers pay attention, now there’s even more good reason. A 2017 national study by the Center for Generational Kinetics found that 30% of Gen Z, born 1996 and after, believe that YouTube ads “are more trustworthy than any other source of advertising, including television, print, radio, and social media.”

Contrast that with Millennials, who, according to the center, view “television ads as being most trustworthy” with social media “chosen as the second most trustworthy source of ads.”

The power of storytelling

Why is storytelling so powerful? “Stories bring brains together,” states Paul J. Zak, Ph.d., author of The Moral Molecule: How Trust Works. He adds that “emotional simulation is the foundation for empathy and is particularly powerful for social creatures like humans because it allows us to rapidly forecast if people around us are angry or kind, dangerous or safe, friend or foe.”

Not only that, but “The ability to quickly form relationships allows humans to engage in the kinds of large-scale cooperation that builds massive bridges and sends humans into space. By knowing someone’s story—where they came from, what they do, and who you might know in common—relationships with strangers are formed.”

Drive sales with powerful storytelling

“If Gen Z is using YouTube as a source of entertainment and trusting the brands they see there, we need to become expert storytellers,” says Keith Manzella, VP, Group Creative Director of e|wmg. “A story adds authenticity and perceived value to a brand or product,” he adds. “Studies have shown that items listed with a story on Ebay sell for a higher price than the exact identical product listed without one.”

In a narrative-driven world, e|wmg knows the power of storytelling. Take our videos we helped create for Hungry-Man where everything two dudes touch turns to gold—along with Hungry-Man sales.

So, the next time you need a powerful narrative to help add value to your brand, give us a call. We’ll give it the golden touch.