What’s the story?

So, there’s this guy. He wants to propose to his girlfriend in a fun way. They met through “a popular dating app” so he decides to create his own app that mimics it and leads her through a series of clues until she arrives at the proposal.

But of course, he’s not an app developer.

Luckily for him Adobe has a piece of software that makes app creation super easy and he creates something within a week. She loves it and they all live happily ever after.

(I’m glossing over some of the details but this blog isn’t an advert for Adobe.)

I recently heard this story as an advertisement on the podcast 99% Invisible. The host told the story in his own way, and read out the URL. I’ve just told you the story in my own way. Adobe are hoping other people will tell the story, that a few people are moved to do a bit more investigation and ultimately purchase the product.

Adobe have uncovered a great simple story. There’s some very simple beats: situation, complication, solution and happy ending. It’s easy to remember, easy to share and hopefully it’s true (although, really, who actually cares?)

It’s not focused on ‘business outcomes’, but it shows an interesting use of a product in a real-life situation. Is everyone reading it going to propose to their girlfriends this way? No. Are people going to remember that Adobe has a product that you can build prototype apps on quickly? Definitely.

It’s not an infographic. It’s not a one page at a glance PDF file, a blog, a slide deck. It’s not even a video or podcast. It could become any of these things, but these are executions.

What Adobe have here is a great story and that’s what travels.

Are we too focused on executions we forget about uncovering the great human stories that our products feature in?