HAS YOUR BRAND VIDEO LOST ITS PLOT?
Updated: Dec 1, 2019
Think your brand video doesn't need a plot? Think again. Ignore it and you're missing an opportunity.
First let's define what a brand video does: It communicates the values of the brand through the behavior of its people. The 'people' can be the executives, employees, or customers. Stories about people work because it gives audiences a reflection of themselves. Having a plot gives them a path to follow your story.
Think of plot as a verb, as in, to draw a plan or map. You are simply defining the beginning, middle and end of your film and drawing a line through it.
If the line that runs through it is curved, then you’ve also created an arc. This story structure works not only because it's the best way to capture the audience's imagination, it also invites them into the story and let's them participate. Even the simplest story arc will engage your audience in at the beginning, surprise them in the middle, and satisfy them at the end.
FOUR STEPS TO FINDING PLOT Use following questions to help define the plot to your video, and lay the groundwork for a compelling story arc.
1. What is the inciting incident for this communications message?
More simply, why did you need to create this video? Was it a eureka moment or the culmination of research? If you identify the underlying problem that you are trying to solve, your audience will lean in and want to get involved.
2. What are the contrasts and challenges associated with this problem?
There is great power in vulnerability and revealing conflict or challenges is what elicits empathy from your audience and makes emotional connections. If this level of transparency is too much for your organization, approach this step with contrasts. Contrasts as characteristics of your message that show differences. If your video is about pushing a new marketing initiative, identify what’s new about this campaign and how it is different than what was there before. What are the new ways of thinking behind it? How will it make the company different? How will it make employee’s jobs different? These contrasts underline what was against what will be, showing transformation, a key element in story arcs.
3. How you are solving the problem?
This is your opportunity to dig deeper by peeling back the curtain and showing the collaborations, processes and thought leadership behind your solution. Sharing this will instill trust by making viewers feel more integral to your organization and give them tools to do their jobs better. 4. What is your vision for the future?
How does this affect the company in the short and long term? What are the next steps for the viewers? The call-to-action ends the video but continues the story, as viewers see themselves within the context of a larger continuum.
Defining your plot will make your brand story dramatically better. It is the difference between presenting information and communicating a message. Your viewers may not recognize your plot but they will feel a connection to the message and more engaged with your organization.