The secret of storytelling is…

Insights | 19 June, 2018

We are all incurable storytellers, craving for a good old story. Hypnotic and engaging, they allure us with their promise to treasure our goals, hopes and desires. Reflecting our obsession with understanding the commonality of the human condition.



“Once upon a time”: The Story

“People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel”. Maya Angelou’s wise words elegantly sum up the thoughts that keep flowing inside our heads every time we start crafting a new story. With the power to engage, inspire or motivate the listener at the other end, stories have survived through many different epochs and audiences, writing time after time the course of History.

Nobody would deny it. We love stories, and not just good ones. We love them great. Let’s see what it takes to build those…

Great characters that touch a nerve

A great story is always inhabited by great characters with dreams and intentions. Of course. We have quite of those at Studio Banana. We even design and produce them. The successful OSTRICHPILLOW Family, our own unique brand of napping products, started back in 2012 with the world-famous Original pillow, whose charm and otherworldly personality made it a big hit. One that keeps inhabiting the houses of hundreds of thousands of happy customers and flagship stores from Colette in Paris to MoMA in New York.

The five members of our feel-good family –each one with their own character and skills– keep growing each year thanks to a smart creative strategy and a charming, funny story… That will be continued very soon.

A blank canvas of possibilities

Characters alone aren’t enough. Something has to actually happen. Something exciting and surprising that can make you feel, see, hear, smell, touch, and taste what is being told inside the narration. A story is like a blank canvas open to surprise and stimulating, new possibilities. And if someone fully understands what new possibilities can bring to the world, that is telecommunications giant Telefónica.

In order to provide them with a distinctive voice in the creative field –for the prestigious art magazine Matador– we crafted a unique transmedia experience that strengthened the innovative and expressive personality of the forward-thinking company. Infusing the printed page with a moving promise, the sensory journey was filled with intentional explosions of colour and dynamism. The digital fourth dimension, aimed to be experienced in mobile devices, was later amplified to the enormous façade of Telefónica’s building in the heart of Madrid.

Challenges, conflict and tension

Most of the times, new possibilities entail new challenges. In order to create a great story, one has to come into terms with the unknown, fueling the will to explore and collaboratively shape the ‘yet to be’. Like the participants in the experiential initiative created for SET VEINTIUNO, an innovative program by educational leader group Santillana, aimed at nurturing the talents and skills needed for the students of the 21st Century.

We know life is a challenge as it is. That’s why we decided to see what happened if we took it to other planets. Pedagogical directors, teachers, journalists, and families had to wear ‘the astronaut hat’ for a challenge-based immersive experience that was propelled by an entertaining story worthy of a science-fiction movie.

A science-fiction story that could certainly occupy a shelf in the white, serene environment created for the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology bookstore at the emblematic Rolex Learning Center in Lausanne. With the reader at its very core, we put into practice the “less is more” motto and offered an optimal reading experience… Library-style. We change the rules of the game designing and installing five pods, hybrids of architecture and furniture, at the service of the user and the stories treasured inside. Quality winning quantity.

Work for the “happily ever after”

Usually, every great story brings along a life-changing learning. An intellectual and emotional transformation in the listener, reader, viewer or user that more and more comes as a digital journey. With The Path to IE University we showed precisely how to present complex information in innovative but intuitive ways in order to continue shaping the future of thousands of students. Further proof that mediums will keep on changing but content will always be king.

An inspiring story needs an inspiring closure. A tribute to the infinite wonders of the creative mind fostered by the IE Foundation, the Prizes in the Humanities are awarded to the best written and audiovisual work from IE students and alumni. Pieces that are collected in a limited-edition book designed to honour each and every of the talented writers, poets, artists and creators.

The students made art from their individuality and we made their individuality art. To do so, we asked a gifted calligrapher to turn the name of every winner into a unique piece of art. Our brilliant design team created a treasure book –half-heart in the editorial design tradition, half-heart in its future– where the greatest stories will be forever told… Happily ever after.

Walk off the beaten track

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