This is marketing lessons – another series where I take trending stories of the day and figure out what marketing lessons I can glean from them. Is it a cynical exploitation of real, human emotions? Maybe. Is it fun? You betcha!
It’s a story as old as time. Boy meets girl. Girl’s family decides girl should marry boy. Boy says “no dogs”. Girl says no dice.
Why does it matter? Why is it news? And why are people calling the girl a hero? Because of the power of the story.
Ultimately it’s about how it makes you feel. And in this case, how else would people react? We have the hero – a girl set to be married to a man who she doesn’t love, and now has the best reason not to. We have a villain – a man whose tone is just condescending enough to make it easy to hate him. And the cutest stakes in the world – a dog. You side with the side fighting to keep the dog. It’s that simple.
Why is the internet making this girl a hero? Because of her story. Because this is still a country where most girls do not dare say no even if they hate the man they are about to marry. And here it is – a girl who did it. And she did it for the love of a dog. And she was abused for it, but she had decided what the right thing to do was, and that was that. Within the context of the chat, as well as the broader context of the society it takes place in, her story is airtight. And that’s why she wins.
It’s not about right and wrong, it’s about the power of the story. With a good story, we don’t look for what lies beyond. For most of us, the story begins and ends in the form it is presented. It can move us, make us happy, make us angry, take us places. A good story doesn’t need thousands of words, hi-resolution images and HD videos. As long as its consistent within and without its periphery, even a cropped Whatsapp conversation can have a hero, a villain and a quest. That’s all.