Campaign watch: Square finds success with storytelling series

by Samantha Waterworth

How do you market your brand without so much as uttering its name? With a good story, of course.

Square, a mobile payments company led by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, has unveiled the first instalment of a storytelling series focused on the success of small business.

For Every Kind of Dream” is an eight-minute film that follows the immigration of Syrian-born Yassin Terou, who fled war-torn Syria to ensure his family’s safety.

In Knoxville, we follow Terou on his journey to make ends meet, selling sandwiches after worship services at the local mosque before eventually starting his own restaurant.

In the film’s eight minute entirety Square is never mentioned, leaving the undercurrents of small business within the creative to raise brand awareness and appeal.

Nor is President of the United States, Mr Trump, mentioned despite the film’s strategic release date. Unveiled just days after Trump’s inauguration, as the President made moves to suspend the U.S. refugee program and ban travellers from several Muslim countries – including Syria – the timely nature of the film’s release hasn’t gone unnoticed.

And nor should it Kevin Burke, Square’s chief marketing officer, told independent local news source, Knoxville Mercury. Although the storytelling series was planned before the presidential election, Terou’s tale gained fast traction following a story about community members gathering at Yassin’s to support immigrants the day after Trump’s victory, Burke said in the same interview.

Subsequent films are expected to be released every quarter, with the possibility of smaller films interspersing them.

The initial film was released simultaneously online and at a private showing at Terou’s restaurant. Dorsey attended the showing, conducting a Facebook Live interview with Terou post-viewing.

The video had a combined viewership exceeding 65,000 across YouTube and Vimeo in the week following publication and has also received significant success across social.

But arguably the film’s best achievement is this: An interview featuring both Dorsey and Terou on CNN – a network that ranks second for cable news in the total day category, and in prime time amongst adults 25-54.

It’s no surprise, given that a good story goes a long way.

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