Lyfting storytelling to the next level

Lyfting storytelling to the next level

Many companies struggle to get the public to connect with their brands emotionally. From a PR perspective, one effective way to make such a connection is through storytelling. Recently, Lyft released a seven-minute short film that offers an excellent case study in exactly how this is done.

Lyft brought in an impressive bunch to make it all happen. Its creative team collaborated with an Oscar-award winning director and a composer known for work on “Trolls” and the ultra-popular “Frozen” to create the animated film titled, “June.” And the main song featured in the film is by Sir the Baptist, a former Lyft driver.

The main message of the film is that “life is better when you share the ride.” To begin, the film makes June particularly lovable. She’s an adorable (even though she’s animated!) older widow who finds herself in need of a ride one day. Her daughter arranges for Lyft to pick her up, and she later ends up becoming a driver herself, meeting all sorts of diverse and wonderful passengers along the way that impact her life in more ways than one.

So, what’s the benefit of this elevated type of storytelling? I’m guessing that Lyft wants a deeper, warm fuzzy feeling connected to its brand. Maybe viewers will choose Lyft over Uber; maybe the film will inspire people to become a drivers. Being a longer length film, the story develops over time and has far more depth than a typical 30-second commercial. So it’s a lot more powerful.

I’m not ashamed to admit that the film made me teary-eyed. (Full disclosure: I cry during Folgers and Hallmark commercials.)  The film connected me emotionally to the brand — and that’s what good storytelling does.

Laura Scharfeld