Storytelling is a powerful tool that not only engages and entertains people, but also drives them to actions. Humans of New York, photography project, sets various storytelling campaigns to attract people’s attention to real issues. The campaigns basically consist of massive distribution of specific people’s stories via various sources of social media. The results of those campaigns have been stunning. If storytelling never seemed credible to you, it is time to change your attitude towards this marketing tool. And here I will explain why.


Why storytelling makes people so pumped?

Based on a number of various studies and researches, a set of boring facts usually drives normal people nuts and totally distract them from liking your product or marketing campaign. It is explained by the fact that people’s brains become more active and engaged with the personal content rather than with cold facts. Another research, conducted by OneSpot, also states that 92% of the audience would rather read an interesting story than several facts boringly displayed within the frame of a screen of their cellphones.

Humans of New York, a photography project, serves as a prime example of a powerful storytelling strategy that inspires and motivates people. A variety of their projects achieved outrageously great results. Their last campaign, devoted to children with cancer, won millions of people’s hearts and caused insanely grand donations.


What and who are the Humans of New York?Humans Of New York

Humans Of New York

In 2010, Brandon Stanton proved everyone that storytelling is one of the most powerful and inspiring tools to capture people’s attention and call them to real actions. Stanton started a very cool and motivational project called Humans of New York. Initially, he wanted to take pictures of 10,000 New Yorkers and post their stories on web. However, the project got to grow significantly fast and got around 20 million fans on social media platforms. As of now, Stanton has the stories of people from over 20 countries.

Stanton has been involved in a variety of amazing projects that changed many people’s lives, but recently he started a campaign for Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center to drive the fundraising for the hospital. He shared patients’ stories, full of joy and full of pain, that made milion of people either laugh or cry.


How did Stanton hold all the aces?

Right after the campaign started, more than 10,000 people donated to the center. As of now, the fundraising got donations of more than 100,000 people, and the cancer center received about $3.8 million!

Stanton has been sharing stories about children with cancer, their parents, doctors and employees of the center. He posted around 50 stories on Facebook and Instagram that received a bunch of comments and donations.

Nina Pickett, stuff member of at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, states that none of the employees of the center has ever witnessed such a tremendous fundraising over the last 40 years. She also says that Stanton did a marvelous job reaching out to the hospital and asking for the interview while having no real experience in interaction with cancer patients.


What stories melted people’s hearts?

Humans Of New York

Stanton has created a variety of emotional stories that are filled with love and grief. Thousands of people shared his posts on social media and even more keep sharing.

One of the last stories of the campaign was about a 7-year old boy, Max, who died of brain tumor. The post received so much feedback, that even the cancer center put a long comment to thank everyone for being so compassionate and caring.

The story of Gabe comes in 6 parts. Gabe used to be a very healthy and active boy, as his mom states. Recently, she has noticed that he keeps complaining about a weird feeling in his mouth. When she took him to doctor’s, they told her that actually Gabe has a tumor in his brain. Now, Gabe is going through a series of therapies at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.


What are the other campaigns that prove the enormous power of storytelling?

In the past, Brandon Stanton has also been active and organized other fundraising for those who are in need. He raised $760,200 for Syrian refugees who came to the United states and around $320,000 for the victims of Hurricane Sandy using the same strategy of storytelling.

Despite the phenomenal results of Stanton’s projects, there were some other storytelling campaigns in the past that caused an amazing outbreak of people’s reactions:

Storytelling can open people’s eyes on something and call them to real and inspiring actions. Brandon Stanton, as many others, proved how deep and emotional stories can change people’s attitudes and make the audience seriously think about an issue.


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