Update – April 2017
Unfortunately two of the original digital storytelling examples in this post have either been taken down or redirected (LifeOfPi and Travis for Volvo Trucks). As such, we’re updated this post with more recent examples. Thanks for reading!
At 8 Million Stories we combine digital marketing with digital storytelling. Most people know and understand digital marketing, but far fewer people have heard of digital storytelling.
In the socially connected world, the attention span of an audience becomes shorter as more and more mundane content is thrust in front of their eyes. Digital storytelling allows a brand to evoke emotion, and become more connected with consumers.
If content is at the heart of digital marketing, then we believe audiences are at the heart of digital storytelling. By creating a story that is authentic to your brand and to your audience, and then building content around that story, you will connect your brand to the lives of your consumers.
Here are six handpicked examples of digital storytelling where we believe great writing is combined with great imagery to create authentic content, and a brilliant digital story.
1. Snowfall – The Avalanche at Tunnel Creek
A Pulitzer prize winning project, ‘Snow Fall’ has practically become a verb in the Midtown Manhattan area, propelling the New York Times into new acclaimed journalism status. In the six days after Snow Fall’s launch on December 20th, 2012, it had received more than 3.5 million page views and 2.9 million visitors.
Going beyond the facts and figures, many believe that thanks to the astounding success of Snow Fall, the New York Times can change the definition of journalism as we know it.
2. Bryce Harper: A Swing of Beauty
Not to be outdone by the New York Times, the Washington Post decided to have a go at digital storytelling themselves, by creating a highly visual story around celebrity baseball player Bryce Harper.
Combining video, data, graphics, and digital illustrations, the Washington Post have come up trumps with a great story around one of America’s top three sports.
3. Bear 71
A moving documentary that turns into a multimedia showcase where you can use your webcam, mouse, laptop keys to move around an interactive map around Canmore, Banff National Park, Canada.
This interactive documentary isn’t just about simple narrative. It’s a story about technology, and how it shapes our interaction with the online world.
4. Pine Point
Another gem from the National Film Board of Canada, Welcome to Pine Point is a digital storytelling example of how we explore and remember the past. It’s a multi-award winning story that combines film, writing and photographs. It was meant to be published as a book, but everyone agrees that the story is more powerful is digital form.
5. Hollow: The Documentary
Get your headphones plugged in, and get ready to be taken on a boom and bust journey Of McDowell County, West Virginia. The sights, sounds and visual effects come at you thick and fast in this digital storytelling timeline example. Very slick, very interactive, and one of our favourites.
One of our favourite interactive content examples. Created back in 2013, Inequality.is highlights the disparity of economic wealth between the top 10% of the remaining 90% of Americans. Have a play yourself, and you might be surprised by the results. Factual, fun and playful, this is a great example of showcasing important political statements and facts that can resonate with all audiences.
You can also download a copy of our presentation, that highlights each of the six digital story examples listed above.
Let us know if you see any exceptional digital stories, and we’ll add them to the comments section below.