“It started with a simple concept: A ball.” This is how One World Play’s Brand Story begins. Every now and then I take a few moments to sit back and marvel at how quickly simple ideas can grow into huge movements. A random whimsey transforms into a book. A conversation at the pub manifests into a bonafide business. A dream of helping a few evolves into the reality of helping many.
This is what I see when I focus on One World Play’s brand story, because it may have begun with a durable ball aimed at helping those less fortunate play the game of football, but it isn’t about football any more. Somewhere along the path it grew, which is why I love stories oh-so much.
They never end, you see. Stories always provide the opportunity to grow and take on many forms. They twist and turn and are rather fluid indeed. They’re like a river, so wherever you begin your journey only means so much. It’s where it takes you that matters the most, and I think One World Play’s brand story sums this up rather well in this little snippet.
The One World Futbol was just the beginning. The impact of our efforts showed us that the need for play was something much greater. We discovered play’s critical role in the lives of people all over the world—and where play can take us all tomorrow.
Isn’t play wonderful. Children play. We play when we’re happy. We’re often free when we play, and as a father to a young boy, I take great pleasure watching him play. It’s so… innocent and beautiful. The world’s a better place when we play, and we certainly take things less serious.
But placing my own love for play to one side, this single word plays a HUGE role in this particular brand story.
There’s lots of reason to love this Brand Story. Like a few other brands I’ve focussed on of late, I could write a lot more than I will today. There’s many layers to One World Play, and I encourage you to spend 30 minutes on their site – devouring their brand story, their message, their projects and plans for the future.
But it’s this single word, PLAY that brings their whole message together.
Because we all have fond memories of playing, right? When you see your own kids play, doesn’t it remind you of long-ago memories? When you see old friends, doesn’t it help you reminisce about a younger and more simple period in life?
Kids deserve to play, and as this page shows, playing has many fantastic benefits. To think there are those around the world unable to play… heartbreaking. On the surface it might not seem as important as water or food or clothing, but when you consider it a little while longer, what are we without play?
I can’t imagine a life without memories of playing, and so I find myself immersed within One World Play’s wonderful brand story. I won’t go into this in great detail because I’ve spoken a lot lately about empathy and its role within a brand story. I’m sure you don’t need me to say much on the subject, because if you read this you know how important it is for the planet’s children (and all of us, for that matter) to play and socialise and run around.
It’s true, I love this brand story because of its fantastic message, but lots of brands have great stories and great messages behind them. What makes these guys so different? What makes this brand story stand out ahead of the rest?
I’m glad you asked…
GET VISUAL WITH YOUR BRAND STORY
One World Play are so damn visual! Through the images and the colours and the videos, they do a fantastic job of showing their brand story for all its worth.
Their videos humanise their story (more on this soon), and their case studies delve into the real impact through images and videos and more. You can’t land on a page where you’re not met with visuals galore, introducing you to the people, the ideas, the impact of these ideas, and the campaigns folk like you and me share with the world.
If you want to check out an example of visual storytelling, look no further than One World Play. They knock it out of the park!
They go the extra mile to show instead of tell. As I search the site, it’s clear they constantly worry about how much text they place on the page.
- Can we add an image here instead of a paragraph?
- Will a video provide more impact than facts and figures?
Their dedication towards helping the world’s kids play blows me away. This is the message and it’s the absolute foundation to this entire brand story.
Don’t forget this. A good video with no meaning remains worthless!
Your brand story has to matter, but just because you share a worthy message doesn’t mean you get away with lazy execution. When I sit down with a client and talk about this very subject, I say:
“Brilliant visuals and videos and marketing won’t fix your brand story if there’s isn’t a story to begin with. We need to find your message first and foremost. Once we do, visuals and videos and marketing enhance this and ensures it reaches the right people.”
In other worse, you can’t polish a tur… you get the picture, right?
HUMANISING A BRAND STORY
Beyond the visuals, there’s one other aspect I love about this brand story.
Throughout their entire message, they do a fantastic job of humanising it. It isn’t about a ball. It isn’t even about playing or the effects this has on a person. Oh no, above all it’s about INDIVIDUAL PEOPLE THEY HELP TO PLAY.
I love how they share the stories of girls like Martine and Linda. As people, we love to follow the journeys of other people. We don’t want to hear about the big picture and nothing but the big picture. When you read a novel or watch a film, is it the premise you fall in love with or the character who guides you along their journey?
Helping kids play is a worthy cause, don’t get me wrong. The simple fact you know One World Play stand for this is enough, but once they make it about specific kids… specific people you can follow… holy heck you’re hooked; line, sinker, and all.
Something I believe all brands have to do (no matter what they sell or do) is humanise as much as they possibly can: their message, their story, their products, their visuals, everything…
We don’t trust brands and corporations anymore, no matter how worthy of a case they serve. But people… ? We still tend to trust those who choose to talk to us; those who share stories, converse, communicate in a humane and honest manner. By sharing the tales from various kids they help, One World Play humanise their brand story.
The big picture is important, for sure, but those specific tales that allow you to meet real life people, see them, hear them, almost touch them… that shit stands out and sets this brand story apart!
THIS IS NOT ABOUT FOOTBALL (OR EVEN FUTBOL)
At first glance, this brand story is about football.
But this brand story is NOT about football (or even futbol), my friend. It’s about play, helping those in less fortunate circumstances discover it, and providing YOU a means to care and do something about it. A worthy message indeed, but the way One World Play visualise it, show it, and make it about real-life people (more specifically, real life kids) sets them apart.
I don’t care who you are or what your brand story is about, you can take inspiration from how these guys and gals approach things. Your message may not be as worthy as theirs, but it doesn’t mean your message isn’t worthy for the right people.
You can choose to visualise, show, and humanise your brand story. For me, this is what takes One World Play’s incredible message to the next level, because although good marketing can’t fix what isn’t there to fix in the first place, it can enhance a worthy message and ensures it fulfils its potential.
So it’s over to you, my friend. What are your thoughts about his Brand Story, and the journey One World Play project are on? I’d love to hear your thoughts, so be sure to reach out to me on FACEBOOK or TWITTER. It’s where our conversation continues, and where we chat about your soon-to-be epic brand story.
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