7The Future of Brand Storytelling

In 1956, a dust of mysterious plant spores blew into the town of Santa Mira, California. That's when things started getting weird.

Big green pods started growing around town. But even stranger, local psychiatrists suddenly had an influx of visits from community members. Each patient suffered from a condition called Capgras delusion—where you believe someone you know is no longer him- or herself. Soon the doctors started panicking, too; their own friends and family members had also begun acting weird. They walked around, staring blankly like zombies.

Before long, an epidemic of mass hysteria broke out.

It turns out that the doctors' patients were right. Their loved ones had been replaced.

By aliens.

The plant spores had come from outer space, and the pods had been consuming people while they slept, regenerating identical copies of them in the night. Personality-less zombie copies.

In no time, almost everyone in Santa Mira had turned into a Pod Person. A thousand versions of the same empty shell wandered the streets.

This never happened, of course. It's the plot of the classic movie Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

But it is exactly what might happen to the craft of business storytelling if we aren't careful.

The zombiefication has already started. Millions of smart marketers have been infected by the content bug. They've bought into the idea that stories and education build relationships and make people care in ways that commercial sales pitches ...

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