How to Express the New Success

Maggie is a journalist. Just before the World Cup she is doing research in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. As she walks through the deserted streets of a demolished favela, the wind picks up a tin cup and places it right before the feet of the 10-year-old Paolo. At the sight of the tin cup his eyes fill up with tears. He tells her that he used to make instruments out of recycled material with his friend Andreu. They used to spend hours on the garbage heap trying to find material for their instruments. One day the bulldozers came to destroy the houses. It was a big chaos: people protested, got arrested or simply were driven away from their homes. That day was a sad day, not only because Paolo lost his home, but also because he lost touch with his best friend. Paolo looked everywhere for Andreu, but his friend is nowhere to be found. Maggie is touched. She tells the story to her colleagues and they tell others. Meanwhile Maggie has started looking for Andreu. People join her in her search. The group is slowly getting bigger. Weeks go by. One morning Paolo wakes up and the first thing he sees is a new instrument. Behind a wall he hears the beating of a drum. Could it be?  

Economic prosperity means success

Success is being redefined. The old definition is starting to lose its meaning. For years we have been motivated to reach for the highest mountain, to be, as Tina Turner put it: “Simply the best. Better than all the rest”. With the help of the media we finally succeeded: success has become a key element in our lives. In our everyday life we have been communicating our successes, mostly through social media. Western society has become purely individualistic. No matter the costs, we try to achieve what is expected of us. Most of the time, we are the ones expecting most of ourselves. We forget everything around us, time is scarce and friends and family come second. But, are we happy?


Can you relate to happiness?

Let’s do a small test. How does this picture make you feel? Research has shown that when you use a picture of a person on your website, it makes your website more attractive. If the picture shows a smiling person the attractiveness increases. That means that when you show a smiling family the attractiveness should be even higher, no?

The hyper individualism of our society has many side effects. One of the most mentioned effects is loneliness. Nevertheless, we are social beings and need people around us. Economic success does not make us happier and therefore our thinking pattern is slightly changing. Again, the media is the first to sense this change and use it wisely in their ads. Just two random examples:

Just to make sure you notice the difference, here’s an “old style” commercial.

The collective success

Did you notice the difference? The last commercial focuses on the individual. It even sets a goal for you: perform better. But, it seems that we are exhausted and burned out. If success means being alone we don’t want it anymore. After years of setting too high standards we now want to spend time again on relationships, on our family and friends. Communication will change as success is not based on economic fortune, but on social interactions. For success you will need people. The first two commercials stress on the bonding of people and evoke emotions. The viewer understands that the product helps to connect with others.

Make her/him smile with a story

In commercials this connection is often shown through images. But texts can also create a certain feeling or bring back a memory. A story like the one in the introduction creates an image. Since each reader has to use his own imagination, the effect of the story will be different on each person. If you know how to tell a story and how to communicate a feeling, you know how to attract the attention. One last tip: make sure your story has a happy end. Make people smile.