2The power o storytelling
Scott Harrison was at the top o his world. The 28-year-old New York–basednightclub and ashion promoter excelled at bringing models and hedge-und kings together and selling them $500 bottles o vodka. He had money and power. Yet his liestyle brought something else: emptiness. Harrisonelt spiritually bankrupt.So he walked away, volunteering to serve on a oating hospital oferingree medical care in the world’s poorest nations. Serving as the ship’s photo- journalist, Harrison was quickly immersed in a very diferent world.Thousands would ock to the ship looking or solutions to debilitating prob-lems: enormous tumors, clet lips and palates, esh eaten by bacteria rom waterborne diseases. Harrison’s camera lens brought into ocus astonishingpoverty and pain, and he began documenting the struggles o these peopleand their courage. Ater eight months, he moved back to New York, but not to his ormer lie. Aware that many o the diseases and medical problems he witnessed stemmedrom inadequate access to clean drinking water, he decided to do somethingabout it. In 2006, he ounded charity: water, a nonprot designed to bringclean and sae drinking water to people in developing nations.Harrison launched the organization on his 31st birthday by asking riends todonate $31 instead o giving him a git. It was a success—the birthday gen-erated $15,000 and helped build charity: water’s rst ew wells in Uganda. Inthe three years that ollowed, Harrison’s simple birthday wish snowballedinto donations that today total more than $20 million, translating into almost3,000 water projects spanning everything rom hand-dug wells and deep wells to protection or springs to rainwater harvesting. The organization hasnow provided clean water to more than 1.4 million people spanning 17 coun-tries. Its success can be explained through our design principles or gener-ating engagement with a brand through social media.
Tell a story.
Harrison’s personal journey—evoking themes o redemption,change, and hope—engaged others on an emotional level. By candidly discussing in media interviews and YouTube videos why and how he startedcharity: water, the thoughtul, accessible, and youthul Harrison helped viewers all in love with him and his cause.
Empathize with your audience.
Let people engage with your brand tolearn what’s important to them and how it relates to your campaign. charity: water evoked empathy through the use o photographs and videos thatrevealed the urgency o the water problem in the developing world. Instead o relying just on statistics, the organization promoted compelling storiesthat orced people to think about what it would be like to live without accessto clean water.
A case study rom
The Dragonfy Eect
This case studyis adapted romJennier Aakerand Andy Smith’s
The Dragonfy Eect