Show or tell? Which is better for commercials?
There is no right answer, but narrative storytelling is a great way to show how your product can be used. The idea is to “show” not “tell” the audience the features and benefits through an entertaining story. The goal is to create a memorable commercial and spur your audience into action.
In fact, according to cognitive psychologist Jerome Bruner, we are 22 times more likely to remember a fact when it has been wrapped in a story. This is what we mean when discussing the power of story for sales and marketing videos. We need to be memorable. Your customer may not remember the charts and graphs, or other analytics, but they will remember your name and how you made them feel. And that is powerful.
Commercials that compel action.
The action we try to compel is different from video to video. For example, buying a product, calling for a demo, or encouraging them to learn more. But generally, we want them to either do something or think differently.
The idea for the Father and Son commercial surfaced after we completed Skipstone’s product launch video. The product launch video was professional and informative, but the narrative story showed how it could be used in everyday life.
The folks at Skipstone loved the idea and gave us the green light. From there we started talent auditions, writing the script, and scouting locations. After weeks of planning, the commercial came together over the course of a three-day shoot in late summer.
We had a great crew consisting of a creative director, director, director of photography, gaffers, script supervisor, audio tech, and production assistants. With all the duties split up, we were able to focus on telling the best story possible and cover all the bases
Almost every company in America has core values. You can see them posted in the lobby or in bold text on the About Us page. But unfortunately, they are usually forgettable. Anyone can claim they have integrity, passion for customers, or respect for others, but until you can experience these things, it’s difficult for them to resonate with employees or customers.
You will hear me talk a lot about putting people first because we believe that stories about people connect with people best. So our approach with this video for Meritor was to find a person who lives the core value of integrity and show’s how they “do the right thing”.
Roger Freeman has worked at Meritor building axles for over 32 years, but what’s more impressive is that he has been a volunteer firefighter for over 38 years! He started as a junior firefighter when he was 14 years old and his dad has to drive him to calls. He is passionate about helping others and is dedicated to helping his community.
As a Meritor employee, he brings this dedication and work ethic into his job at the Fletcher, NC facility. Roger and I chatted a lot before filming and he would tell me stories about his father and grandfather, and the influence they had on his life. They would tell him to create something good enough where he is willing to put his name on it. And that’s what he does every day. This work philosophy is especially important because the axles that Roger helped make are on the trucks in his fire station.
Early on in pre-production, we conducted multiple pre-interviews so we could get a thorough understanding of our main character, Roger, and the key points in his life that define who he is and why he does what he does. Before we even arrived in North Carolina we had the storyline completed and knew exactly what we needed out of the interview and b-roll shots. This approach really helped us maximize our three days on location and focus on quality of over quantity.
Everyday you have questions, wouldn’t life be easier if you could fine the right answers?
Here’s another great video from Ann Arbor, MI startup Skipstone showing a day in the life of our hero when he doesn’t get the answers he needs.
A little background on the project…
Skipstone was pitching a large media company and approached us with the task to create a memorable video that will leave an impression after the sales meeting. After a lot of discussion, we collectively decided that a comedic representation of a life without answers would leave a strong impression in the audience’s mind.
So you want a video to promote your brand? Cool. It should highlight all the technical details and how well the product or service works, right? You’d think so, but maybe not.
Humor me for a second.
You walk into the pet store. The plan… to go home with a new friend, but you’re not sure what. Rationally, a cat would be a good choice; they’re clean, independent and easy to care for. You walk towards the feline section when suddenly, a poster catches your eye. The caption reads, “The Perfect Pet!.” You’re intrigued, not because the tiny animal is cute (even though it is… extremely) but because the man in the poster is surrounded by adoring friends, all excited about the new pet. Suddenly, you’re daydreaming. Beautiful women kiss little Billy (you named him Billy), then they kiss you. You’re best mates give you high fives and pats on the back as the scratch adoringly under Billy’s chin. In your mind, he’s already yours. And with that, you skip merrily out the pet store with… A teacup pig.[Read more…] about Emotion Trumps Rationality in Video Marketing
We all have defining moments in our lives.
They can be times, situations, or places that challenge your view of the world and yourself, and inspire you to set a new course. Taking part in Muse Film School this past fall and telling the story of Isha Desselle was a defining moment in my life. It challenged how I viewed video production and what it means to create impactful stories that motivate change. Stories that help a business be more success, stories that help launch a startup, stories that help share the mission of a nonprofit. But beyond all that, stories that make the world a better place.[Read more…] about The Story of Isha Desselle – The Woman Who Sold Everything To Help Those With Nothing