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The 9 ways to create meaning for your project

Behind a great project there’s always a great scope. Now it’s time to deepen storytelling because a project without a story to tell your scope has no chance to meet the interest of people.

Why storytelling is so important to generate and to orientate the human perception of things?

The answer is easy and almost disarming. That is: by the fact that, the most important human biological surviving device, is the memory, and the memory is a narrative device.

Our senses; view, hearing, tact, olfaction and taste they all refer to memory to recognise a perfume, a face, and of course a project (J. Bruner -1987).

Think about it. There will be no narration without remembrance and vice-versa. So to make people remember your project and to involve them, you need to tell a story able to get in contact with them.

To stimulate people a project’s story needs to work on one of these 9 possible ways to create meaning. These ideas are able to stimulate people to act, to share and support your project. Consumption is vector of meaning (individual and social). Thomas Hine – (2002)

The 9 nine possible ways to create meaning for your project:

  1. Power: Enhance our authority on things
  2. Responsibility: Making choices about our personal ways to be and to have
  3. Discovery: Discover and explore new solutions for our life
  4. Self expression: Express our identity
  5. Insecurity: Search answers to our daily sense of uncertainty
  6. Attention: generate recognition to ourselves
  7. Membership: create community in which live experiences
  8. Festivity: live ludic experiences
  9. Comfort: find useful elements to solve our problems

Use one or more of these 9 ways to think about the scope of your project.

Below you will find examples of great stories related to products, every example rely to one of the 9 ways or strenghts:


1. BMW (Power)

The commercial “Powerful Idea” expresses the compelling power of the right idea — a power that is fuelled by passion and joy, and enables the possible to forge ahead. The British actor Sam Hazeldine is the embodiment and voice of this powerful idea.


2. Julia Roberts (Responsibility)

Ecosystem services. You’ve nodded off already, haven’t you? But wake up! Here are some Hollywood A-listers making a decent attempt to move beyond the obscure jargon and reveal the existential nature of what the Earth provides for humanity.  Read full story


3. The North Face ( Discovery ):

In this video, Buzz Aldrin, austronauth and explorer talks about the importance of exploration for humankind.


4.   Apple (Self Expression)

The i-pad. Needs no explanation 🙂

5. Dove (Insecurity)

The ad, from the “Campaign for Real Beauty” from Ogilvy & Mather in Toronto, depicts the transformation of an average-looking woman into a stunning model.

6. Beats – Lebron James (Attention): A shirtless and extremely determined-looking Lebron James pumps iron in a gym that bears his name at St. Vincent-St. Mary, his high school in Akron, Ohio. Images of his beloved hometown and personal flashbacks flit past. In a voiceover, James’ mom Gloria says, “This is the city that raised you. I’m so proud of you. Welcome home, son.”  Read the full story.

 Kate Spade – with Anna Kendrick ( Festivity ): No one does bored better than Anna Kendrick.

The actress, who turned in one of the most amusing ad performances of the year for Newcastle, is back for more comedy in this seasonal spot for Kate Spade, in which she returns from a day of holiday shopping only to realize she forgot her apartment keys.

This would be irritating in real life, but Kendrick takes it in stride—using the unexpected free time to drink champagne, loudly sing holiday jingles and of course model some Kate Spade clothes for her dog.

Read the full story.


9. Shangri-La (Comfort)

Ogilvy & Mather Hong Kong have unveiled a new global brand campaign for Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts. Entitled “It’s in our nature,” the new campaign expresses the group’s distinctive philosophy of hospitality during the past four decades.


Jerome Bruner – Actual minds possible worlds (1987) http://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog.php?isbn=9780674003668

Thomas Hine – I want that: How all become shoppers (2002)  http://www.amazon.com/Want-That-How-Became-Shoppers/dp/0060959835