Is Storytelling Important? Ask a 99 year old.

If you’ve ever questioned the power of a good story, you haven’t met Lindsay Boyd.

Lindsay is a 99 year old WW2 vet that I interviewed recently for an upcoming issue of a client’s in house magazine. He was one of many seniors that I’ve been chatting to, but his story stuck out for all its drama and authenticity.

Lindsay tells a great yarn about the day the planes flying over Darwin started dropping bombs. He talks of diving for the trenches and hoping for the best, and the two years of hell after that. And then there’s the story about how his mate crashed his plane into the sea and died on the last day of the war. 

His war stories are compelling, and they left me wanting to know more. There wasn’t exactly the time for that, but I did become a ‘fan’ of Lindsay, and I’ll be watching out for news of his pending 100th birthday celebrations.

However, what has struck me the most as I’ve conducted these numerous interviews is my subject’s keen ability to sum up their long lives neatly into a package, and ultimately into what defines them as a person.

There’s always a theme running through, no matter what twists and turns their lives may have taken: Lindsay - survivor; Dr Swann – scholar; Terry – intellect; Chas- romantic; Maree – pragmatist. It’s this central theme that makes each individual story believable and intriguing.

It’s a great reminder for brands to have a common, guiding premise behind every story they tell: to own a character, an archetype or a thought and to stick to it.  It makes storytelling so much easier and so much more believable. 

Nic HarmanComment