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Show, Don’t Tell: This is How It’s Done, Folks!

Show, Don’t Tell: This is How It’s Done, Folks!

Here’s a piece of writing advice familiar to any aspiring novelist: Show, Don’t Tell. It’s simply better storytelling – more persuasive & compelling – to let your character’s actions clue the reader in to what is going on. Experience has taught most of us that what a person actually does is far more important than what they say they’re going to do. They believe this down in Missouri: the state’s unofficial nickname is “The Show-Me State”.

Show, Don’t Tell is also powerful marketing advice. Sony’s got a new MP3 player to promote. One of its biggest selling points is the fact it’s waterproof. Now, Sony could have spent all day long telling you exactly how waterproof their MP3 player is. But they decided to show you instead:

According to The Next Web, this is how Sony is marketing its MP3 player in Australia. That’s right: you can buy your latest bottle of water with a MP3 player INSIDE IT. This is a brilliant demonstration of show, don’t tell in action:

  • It immediately captures attention by presenting the unexpected. We’ve all learned (often the hard way!) that electronics and water just don’t mix.
  • It leaves absolutely no question about what the MP3 player’s compelling benefit is. What better demonstration of waterproofness exists than actually plunging the product into water?
  • It communicates rapidly. As the public’s attention span continues to shrink, it’s important to remember that showing takes much less time than telling.

Visual storytelling means using images, videos, and even innovative product packaging to articulate your brand’s message. When executed properly, visual storytelling will help you sell your products and services more effectively. The very first lesson of visual storytelling is show, don’t tell.

How can you apply this lesson to your small business?

There are several types of stories you could be telling. Sony chose to tell a story about their MP3 player’s waterproof feature. You could similarly pinpoint a unique element of your business, and tell a story about how cool that feature is.

Another powerful type of story is the transformation story. Using before and after imagery is a simple way to tell a tale. Use images to show an actual change, or document the change in someone’s emotional state before you helped them out. They were sad with a flat tire, but ecstatic after Bob’s Tire Service came to the rescue is a simple but powerful sales-generating narrative.

Would you like to try the Show, Don’t Tell technique with your customers, but don’t know how to start? Give us a call! Our experienced team of marketing professionals can do it all for you, from concept creation to plan implementation. This is how you take your company to the next level!

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Creative Director/Senior Designer

Tom DiGrazia

With over a decade and a half of professional design experience, Tom brings his knowledge of design principles and focus on user experience to every aspect of his contribution to TTG. Paying special attention to each client’s brand, personalized needs and individual interests, he strives to create compelling concepts utilizing intuitive and highly-refined design solutions. In addition to traditional and digital design work and oversight at TTG, Tom also boasts a wide portfolio of web development projects with the company, allowing him to stretch his CSS and HTML skills across multiple platforms and disciplines. He feels that being a designer in the digital landscape of websites, eCommerce solutions, email marketing platforms and social media, it is important to understand the code that goes into these areas as it assists his ability to tailor designs specifically targeted to achieve the best end result and further builds understanding and communication with backend development teams.

In his off hours, Tom is an avid pop culture enthusiast, staying up to date on the latest shows, films, comics and games. He can also typically be found taking part in a whole host of artistic activities that help him further stretch his creative legs. Regardless of the activity, Tom is always accompanied by his dog, Eli, and his cat, Tib.

Design, Photography, Illustration, Digital Imagery Manipulation, Wesbite Development

Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Lightroom, HTML/CSS, Wordpress


Courtney Dumont

As Senior Marketing Strategist & Analyst at Technology Therapy Group, Courtney is energized by the ability to flex both her left and right brain daily. Courtney discovered her passion for Marketing at Bryant University, where she spearheaded research on students’ perceptions of Social Media Marketing for her Honors Capstone Project. After graduating Bryant in 2012, she joined the Technology Therapy team, where she’s honed her skills in social media, search and social advertising, email marketing, SEO, and more.

Since joining the team, Courtney has created digital marketing strategies and managed campaigns for clients across the country, ranging from plastic surgery centers, to jewelry stores, to construction companies. With a cohesive, cross-channel approach and a focus on data-driven decision making, she has increased their leads by up to 217%. But Courtney doesn’t leave her zeal for social media at the office; she also runs a local foodie Instagram account with her husband to document their meals across Rhode Island and beyond. Check them out: @hoppilyfed.

Marketing Strategy, Data Analysis, Google Ads, Facebook Ads, Social Media

Google Analytics, Google Ads, Facebook Ads, Facebook Creator Studio, Instagram, Klaviyo, Mailchimp, Emma Mail, Google Data Studio, WordPress, YouTube, LinkedIn, Facebook, Microsoft Office