This Week’s Top Brand Storytellers: Dislife, Justin Timberlake

Who can resist a great story? Our brains are wired for them. So it’s not surprising that our need for narrative has made stories the preferred currency of today’s most successful brand communicators. Well-designed brand stories reveal the very identity of a company or organization, forging bonds with customers that long outlive the last viral video or media relations campaign.

Each week, Pilot will bring you a roundup of the best—and occasionally the worst—examples of brand storytelling in the business. Here are our top five picks this week from around the world:

Dislife’s hologram stunt about the importance of disabled parking spots

Dislife, a Russian non-profit, has discovered a way to detect when drivers are illegally parking in spaces designated for the disabled. If a driver doesn’t have a valid parking sticker, a hologram of a disabled person will appear that puts a human face – and story – to the driver’s misdeed. It’s a powerful message, not to mention a clever use of technology.

Justin Timberlake’s Sauza 109 commercial

A tribute to VH1, this tequila-selling mockumentary explores the rise and fall of literal lime-head Rick “Sour” Vane (played by Justin Timberlake). Watching humans with giant limes for heads go club-hopping is no doubt entertaining, but these limes are here to deliver a foundational brand message: Our tequila is so good by itself, it’ll put limes out of business.

German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, on the changing face of German leadership

Angela Merkel possesses few of the traits typically associated with a German leader: she isn’t male; she has married, divorced, and remarried; and many call her “quiet” and “awkward.” Yet the quantum chemist continues to keep her country’s parliament in line and the economy stable, despite the financial woes of other European countries. And she is redefining what the world thinks of German leadership in the process.

Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People in Business

Discover how scientists, politicians and comedians are using creativity to solve the world’s problems. You’ll never be a good storyteller if you don’t examine the stories of others – especially when those stories are helping shape human history.

Coca-Cola’s new braille cans

Last year, Coca-Cola released cans with people’s names on them. To make this campaign accessible to blind people, Coca-Cola created custom cans with names written in braille. Not only is this a caring campaign, but it aligns with Coca-Cola’s slogan, “Open Happiness,” by making the joy of Coke accessible to everyone.