How Hugh Jackman Made Me Think About Storytelling in Content Marketing

How Hugh Jackman Made Me Think About Storytelling in Content Marketing

How many times do we think about the people behind the products we use every day?

For example, how many times do we think about the farmer who is growing that vegetable that we eat every day, or how many times do we think about the engineer behind the laptop or smartphone we use every day? Or how many times do we think about the people behind that cup of coffee you enjoy while you are reading this article?

Who are those people? How much do they earn on a regular day so they can produce what we consume today?

Maybe once a week, or a month or never. Well, today was the day when I looked at my second cup of coffee and thought about the one who planted and grown the coffee plant and beans.

And the one who is responsible for this is Hugh Jackman. Exactly. Many of you knows him like Logan or Wolverine, but today I found out that Hugh is more than a regular actor, he is also a teacher and a great entrepreneur.

Hugh made me think about storytelling in content marketing from a different perspective while I was watching his trailer from his new documentary about Dukale’s Dream.

What is Dukale’s Dream?

It is a documentary that shows the trip of Hugh and his wife, Debora-lee Furnes to Ethiopia as ambassadors for World Vision Australia.

Hugh met Dukale. A 27 year-old coffee farmer who is working to lift his wife and kids out of poverty. That was the moment when the Jackmans learned about the importance of fair trade coffee and clean cookstove technology.

But the tipping point moment of Hugh was when Dukale invited him to plant together coffee seeds on his farm. That experience made Hugh to promise to the farmers that he wants to start a movement to only drink fair trade coffee.

After this trip, Hugh started talking throughouthis neighborhood about the value of fair trade and the environment those farmers live every day.

And after he shared his experience with a friend who is working in the restaurant business, he figured out that there is something more that he can do. So he started to have a direct impact on poverty reduction while he started a coffee company in order to trade directly from the growers.

In 2011 Hugh Jackman launched Laughing Man Coffee & Tea to be the voice of the farmers like Dukale and sell their products to consumers across the U.S.

Laughing Man now partnered with one of the world’s largest purchasers of fair trade coffee to distribute their products all around the world.

The Documentary

If 90% of all human communication is practically non-verbal, it means that we need to use more visual content to communicate easier each other. This is what Hugh made with the documentary.

To create a more sustainable project, he is launching this brand with a powerful documentary that can make anyone a host. This type is a little different than what Leornado Di Caprio made with his documentary, because Leo gave it for free. But Hugh will give anyone the chance  to be a part of this project, to screen it in a theatre or in a community venue.

It’s not only about sharing something on Facebook and that’s all. It’s also about making the participants part of the project by taking them out of their comfort zone.

The Power of Storytelling

While I watched the trailer of the documentary, I found the importance of storytelling in content marketing. Even if it’s Hugh Jackman or another person who wants to make something big in the industry, they need a powerful story behind their projects.

Hugh’s story is Dukale’s Dream and made him create a brand that helps the people.


But it’s not only about the documentary. It’s also about how do you present the story, what is your motivation and purpose on why do you want people to believe in your movement.

I was looking at their website and it’s as simple as you need. You can learn there about their mission, who they are and how do they get to this movement.


Maybe for some of you it’s only a marketing strategy for Hugh to create some awareness as a celebrity, or for others it’s only another foundation that believes it can change the world.

For me, this was a simple lesson on why do we need storytelling in content marketing.

As Seth Godin said:

Marketing is no longer about the stuff that you make, but about the stories you tell.

This post is part of our contributor series. It is written and published independently of TNW.

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