105: “Fearless” Marketing and the Power of Storytelling
Stephen Tisdalle, CMO of State Street Global Advisors, was on the team that made the “Fearless Girl” statue. And although the installation made headlines all over the world, the campaign also prompted State Street Global Advisors to devote themselves to greater gender diversity in their own leadership and on their own boards. On this episode of Renegade Thinkers Unite, Stephen shares the internal challenges his team faced when developing the idea, the global reaction to the statue, and how this striking piece of storytelling marketing sparked a global-wide conversation about equality in the workforce.
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What You’ll Learn
Why did a statue of a ‘Fearless Girl’ in front of the ‘Charging Bull’ leave such an impression?
The “Charging Bull” statue that lives on Wall Street has been an iconic symbol for decades. On March 7, 2017, SSGA unveiled the “Fearless Girl” statue – a brave young girl that confidently faces the bull. She continues to serve as a symbol for greater diversity on C-suite level boards, and that’s exactly what Stephen and his team were trying to convey. That’s what makes Fearless Girl such a prime example of storytelling marketing – a piece that stands the test of time and represents values that span companies, states, and even nations.
You have to back up your storytelling marketing with action
Fearless Girl may have remained a simple statue with a brief amount of fanfare if it hadn’t been for SSGA’s actions that backed up the claims she made. SSGA has committed to increasing the level of diversity in their own boards, as well as encouraging their clients to do the same. Stephen explains to Drew that since her installation, SSGA has found that more than 300 companies added a female director, and to-date another 28 plan to follow suit. Fearless Girl also amassed over 6.5 billion social media impressions. However, if a company’s storytelling marketing campaigns are to leave a persisting impact, they must be backed with action.
Truly great marketing can flourish when its paired with important values
The genius behind Fearless Girl lay in her ability to convey values that should be important to companies of all sizes in all industries. Stephen explains that “authenticity is attractive,” and that people are drawn to marketing campaigns that are aligned with important values. He continues by explaining that companies and leaders need to “do well, do better, by doing good.” Storytelling marketing can be the perfect way to convey those commitments.
- [0:30] Stephen explains why State Street wanted to put a fearless girl in front of a charging bull
- [9:50] Stephen and his team had to overcome internal concerns before moving forward with Fearless Girl
- [15:29] Great marketing comes when you align with important internal values
- [21:04] The true value behind Fearless Girl was in the actions taken across the world
- [26:24] Stephen explains the future of Fearless Girl
- [31:33] The storytelling process begins with a strong marketing focus
- [38:48] Fearless Girl and how she has impacted the brand awareness of State Street Global Advisors
Connect With Stephen:
Resources & People Mentioned
- ARTICLE, “The ‘Fearless Girl’ statue turns 1 today. Here’s what she’s inspired.”
- TED Talk, “Your body language may shape who you are”
- Crazy Enough 2 Work series
Connect with Drew