Hopefully, you know what Rick and Morty is, but if not check it out on Hulu or HBO Max or your other favorite streaming service. The animation style is unique, but what makes these episodes so special is the stories.
Every episode gets the main characters into some truly wild and unbelievable situations, and does an outstanding job of grabbing the viewer’s attention. Because of that, the show is a force in pop culture and has inspired collaborations with brands like Wrangler and McDonald’s.
It turns out, Dan Harmon, the co-creator of the show has a special framework for writing an engaging story. The crazy thing is, it’s literally named after him!
The Dan Harmon Story Circle Technique is a great way to craft and tell your brand story. You don't just have to think of it for long narrative-driven content like cartoons and movies. The system can be used as an exercise in storytelling that will not only keep you entertained, but also help anchor your company's messaging efforts.
Dan Harmon uses this exact framework when creating each episode of Rick and Morty. This technique offers a more modern twist on another classic framework: The Hero's Journey (which we'll explore in another newsletter).
Why is this important for marketing? No matter what format you're using, learning to construct a narrative about your business or brand is essential in relating to customers. We recently talked about the AIDA framework for one page or short form writing, but when you need to construct a brand story, you could use the Story Circle Technique.
Explaining the technique in detail is too long for a newsletter, so I’m sending you off to two great links to learn more. The second one offers an in-depth overview of each step and offers examples of how popular movies reflect the technique.
- Video of Dan Harmon explaining the steps and demonstrating them in an episode of Rick and Morty
- In depth overview of each step with recent movie examples
Hopefully, you find this helpful, and it gives you an idea of how you can create some great stories.
Thanks for reading!
PS: bonus points if you have any Pickle Rick merch in your house.