This Week’s Top Brand Storytellers: Samsung, Freedom 55 and TSN

Each week, Pilot brings 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:

Samsung unveils “The Safety Truck”

You don’t need to drive like Michael Schumacher to pass a lumbering truck on a one-lane road. Yet in Argentina, a country connected by hundreds of such roads, fully 80 per cent of fatal accidents happen as drivers try to overtake trucks. Cue “The Safety Truck,” a truck with a camera at its front which is attached to a screen at the rear to show drivers behind the truck what lies ahead. This innovative use of technology attempts to break down a persistent local attitude by showing drivers there’s very little they can see when following what are, in essence, giant mobile blind spots. As the old storytelling precept goes: Show, don’t tell.

Freedom 55 gamifies its way into golfers’ hearts  

Forty-one million North Americans – and 19 per cent of Canadians – play in online fantasy sports leagues. Recognizing its customers’ obsession with playing virtual GM to their favorite athletes and teams, Freedom 55 Financial has invested in a fantasy golf platform hosted by, which invites users to build their own teams for a chance to win $15,000 in prizes. The move will undoubtedly deepen the company’s connection to a target audience that logs in multiple times a day—not only by gamifying that interaction in a non-disruptive way (users are already there, in droves), but by aligning Freedom’s brand with its customers’ passion for sport—and the games they play in the name of sport.

Improv experts teach us how fear can kill a story  

Kelly Leonard and Tom Yorton know a thing or two about fear from their years performing at Second City—and now they’ve produced a tell-all book about why it’s a marketers’ worst enemy. In “Yes, And,” the duo dish out advice on how to avoid fear-based thinking, because fear doesn’t exactly inspire elegant creative thinking—it paralyzes it. Be sure to act their recommendations out on your own.

LinkedIn does education

LinkedIn’s acquisition of education website back in April isn’t just part of a larger expansion strategy –it’s also a continuation of LinkedIn’s original brand story. Sure, the social network wants to raise its credibility among recruiters looking to find pros with specific skills, and sure, there’s money to be made in the growing online education space – but, with Lynda, the company is also doubling down on its promise to make users even better at what they already do. Next stop, LinkedIn University?

New Yorker’s Charleston Cover

This week’s New Yorker cover featured nine birds flying over a church’s steeple in a beautiful blue and purple sky. This subtle and softly coloured cover immediately places us in Charleston, South Carolina, where eight parishioners and a reverend were shot. Most notable about the cover is how it disrupts our ingrained association between white doves and death. In this scene, instead of doves, black birds rise poignantly into the air – reminding us of the power of a well-executed challenge to symbols and ideas we take for granted; symbols that reinforce our worldviews.