Storytelling With Rory’s Story Cubes And Michael Rosen

Storytelling With Rory’s Story Cubes And Michael Rosen
  • To front the campaign we looked for someone with great credibility. It needed to be someone that would not only support the awareness objective, but also give us opportunities to produce content that met the gameplaying criteria.
In A Nutshell…

Monster, teepee, castle, tree; book, star, key and giant bee… With 54 pictures on nine beautiful dice, Rory’s Story Cubes is a fantastic way to enjoy story play. The product aims to help people make up and tell great stories. Our challenge? To raise awareness of the Story Cubes among UK parents.


With storytelling being part of all our lives, we felt this campaign should show the Story Cubes gameplay in a simple, relevant way. We set out to communicate how easily you can use Rory’s Story Cubes, with an independent expert making it clear that the product can enhance anyone’s storytelling powers.

The core aim of the campaign was to drive awareness of Story Cubes among a family audience using tangible gameplay. To achieve this, our campaign would need an integrated approach with multiple layers. These would include a robust media-relations aspect for awareness; one that used visual and ‘hands on’ elements of gameplay.


We chose to launch the campaign during National Storytelling Week to harness media interest. This also let us join with and support libraries using storytelling resources – including branded flyers, posters and product – to put Rory’s Story Cubes in the hands of core audience members.

To front the campaign we looked for someone with great credibility. It needed to be someone that would not only support the awareness objective, but also give us opportunities to produce content that met the gameplaying criteria.

For that reason, we negotiated a partnership with renowned author and former Children’s Laureate, Michael Rosen. As our key spokesperson, Michael would bring expert credibility to our library relations, and produce storytelling content using the Story Cubes. Since Michael also has his own YouTube channel, with over 309k subscribers, he seemed ideal.

In order to fit in with Michael Rosen’s schedule, we held a targeted media morning. This comprised more than 20 radio interviews on stations including talkRadio, BBC Radio London and BBC Radio Scotland. Some presenters were challenged to create their own stories on air! Through his videos and radio interviews, Michael showed parents the building blocks of storytelling. He also demonstrated that stories don’t have to make sense to be enjoyed.

To underpin the campaign’s awareness aspect, and give a narrative for Michael to discuss as part of the media-relations strategy, we conducted a poll. This research of 1,000 parents and their children explored their comfort and ability in telling stories off the cuff. Parents said they struggled to create stories from scratch, and that they had stifled imaginations.

The research also explored the kind of stories being shared at home, and revealed a decline in awareness/understanding of ‘traditional’ fairytales. These results gave us story cues for our media relations. We also got a valuable insight into the development of – and the ‘why’ factor for – Michael’s video content.

We worked closely with Michael’s production team to develop the content – being keen not to ‘over-direct’… This meant the resulting content would fit Michael’s style and audience. In other words, the pieces were in line with the typical nature of Michael’s channel, helping us maximise engagement in the video messages.


The campaign very successfully raised awareness of Story Cubes. In the weeks following the campaign launch, the client saw a 607% comparative increase in engagement on their Facebook page.

Michael Rosen’s YouTube series, which introduces the gameplay and reveals Michael’s own Story Cubes tale, has more than 36,000 views. It also has a 98% approval rating. Following the campaign’s success, the product’s distributor, Asmodee UK, received requests to use the content from global partners and retailers.

Over 200 Story Cube sets were distributed to support events. More than 30 libraries held storytelling events and, in some areas, connected schools. During Storytelling Week, the events generated organic social posts, and a series of new stories created and shared by children using Rory’s Story Cubes.

The results of our consumer research showed that 17% of parents claim modern life gets in the way of story time, and that 83% of children would like to spend MORE time being told stories by their parents. These statistics generated coverage in more than 30 pieces, including items in The Sun, Huffington Post, Daily Mirror, First News, Daily Star, BBC Radio Scotland, BBC Radio London and talkRADIO. Their combined reach was in excess of over 7.8 million people.