The simile strategy in storytelling: It’s kind of like this…

I have a client who’s warming up to the idea of doing a podcast and I referred him the CommonCraft tutorial. It answered the “What’s a Podcast?” question for my client far better than I had. I remembered Lee mentioning in his presentation that they use the “It’s kind of like this….” approach to explaining things — a technique that I favor in especially when selling he merits of technology products. I used it this morning in web copy about the music, video and photo capabilities of Windows Mobile phones: “It’s like having a media center in your pocket.”

I like what I call the “simile strategy” so much, I recently based an entire web video campaign for Safeco Insurance on it. The campaign is intended to give consumers useful nuggets of insurance knowledge without directly selling Safeco. It features brief monologues by four characters who each explain their topic by comparing it to something they’re very familiar with in their work.

Here’s one example:

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