Sir John Hegarty on the best brand story he’s told

What’s the Story? is a storytelling video series dedicated to learning what truly makes a great story, told through the lens of the world’s talent and practitioners of the craft in entertainment, marketing and beyond.

On the shortlist of legendary creatives who know a thing or two about storytelling, Sir John Hegarty, BBH co-founder is, most certainly, in the rarefied air of those who have and continue to use strong stories to build brands and impact culture.

In Hegarty's mind, what makes a great story is, simply, something that you haven’t heard before — those surprises that can come out nowhere to make people pay attention and, most importantly, remember.

Further, those memorable stories are the ones steeped in the truth. Even in advertising, according to Hegarty, the strategies around building a brand that are based in truth have the greatest chance to resonate, stay with people and have lasting value.

Out of the massive library of highly-successful and awarded work, one particular story from a brand in the 80s sticks out. Phileas Fogg, a snack brand, was looking to make waves with flavors that evoked places such as sunny California and exotic India.

Instead of, as Hegarty puts is, creating a fake, “ersatz” story about them being made in these regions, the creative team decided it made sense to simply pull back the curtain and let the audience know that they were created at home in the UK. That truth, not only helped make a brand famous, but showed that truth is oftentimes the best story that can ever be told.

What's the Story? is sponsored by Branded Entertainment Network (BEN), the first global network for branded product integration in the entertainment industry, across all media, including the influencer space.

Filmed at Advertising Week Europe

If you would like to pitch someone for “What’s the Story?“, please complete the linked form.

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Doug Zanger

Doug Zanger is the Americas editor for The Drum. He leads the Americas editorial team’s content activity in the growing region. Based in Portland, Oregon, he is committed to sharing the most meaningful stories that benefit the global industry and its people. A Minnesota native, Zanger has covered a wide range of brands, issues and personalities, including Aloe Blacc, Seu Jorge, Wendy Clark, Susan Credle, Dan Wieden, Jeff Goodby and more. Fiercely dedicated to diversity, equality and talent, he has interviewed several women in leadership roles through his Exceptional Women of the World podcast.

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