I’m really not sure how this happened. I’ve never liked football and couldn’t explain the offside rule if my life depended upon it. But suddenly, somehow, I find myself not only wearing an England football shirt, but in fact rather wondering if it’s too late to get the Kane version. Who is this imposter and can I blame it on hay fever like everything else?
But the thing is I love a good story, and wow what a good story the World Cup is. I want to blame my grandparents for this, as (apart from being the most glamorous people I have ever known), they regaled glorious stories of attending the infamous 1966 game where dreams were made and have been chased ever since. The images, the feelings, the eloquent descriptions – the story had started and without realising, had me hooked.
Fast forward to this week, and I find myself uncharacteristically, furiously hunting for England flags, bunting and other such paraphernalia. We have the sticker book, the wall chart and have cancelled all social activities that could possibly clash with a match. What on earth?!
So how is this story still so enthralling that it draws in a nation of football loving and football loathing people of all ages and backgrounds? Maybe it’s the dream, the belief that this year is the year. This year is the year that just possibly, England could win. That the country who invented the game could actually bring the trophy home. Or maybe it is the phenomenal story machine that is cleverly weaving its invisible arms around us. The patriotic merchandise. The emotional videos of players as children striving for their dream. The partnerships with our favourite commercial brands. The favourite retired player campaigns and commentary. Each one telling us the story, the dream and each one slam dunking the message one hundred percent.
This is storytelling at its best. Enthralling content smartly delivered through any channel you want. TV, video, blogs, adverts, social media, radio – it’s everywhere but somehow still subtle enough not to infuriate you and draw you in.
And it seems I simply can’t resist. So, with my fingers crossed, and patriotic face paint at the ready, I for one am hoping that this story has a happy ending.
blurt – giving your business a voice.