Storytelling: An Age-Old Love Affair

Ever wonder if video is part of our genetic code? It resonates so well as a communication tool. OK, so it may not be genetic, but it is 100% part of the human evolutionary story.

Since the beginning of time we have used visuals as a storytelling tool. The Egyptians’ entire language of hieroglyphics was based solely on visuals and then there were cave drawings (where do you think the Mad Bear Cave reference came from). We even use emoticons to express ourselves today. The truth is we respond strongly to visuals because the human brain has evolved that way. As lyrical as the written word can be, nothing helps tell a story better than impactful visuals.

We all simply love a good story. Does this come from thousands of years of tales being told by the village elders? Aristotle knew the deal. He outlined 7 Golden Rules of Storytelling. Stick to the basics and you can’t really go wrong. Samsung got the memo and executed it beautifully in one of their latest VR ads.  

So the equation is arguably simple. Couple visuals with a great story, and it’s like candy for our brains. You’re grabbing a viewer on multiple levels: visually, intellectually and emotionally. That’s what video does and our brains crave that kind sweet engagement.

Whether it’s sharing a mission or inspiring a commitment to performance, storytelling is a powerful tool that can mean the difference between extraordinary status and being just another brand. Business communication doesn’t just have to be bullet points, simple statements, or rhetorical rants. A dose of the human element, emotions, and branded thinking can result in a memorable message. Check out what we mean and click on the video our Team just completed for a financial consulting firm. The video is not just an advertisement, it is a story of who they are and why you should care.

Just like the example above, when you use video to tell a story, you are not “talking at” the viewer, you are taking the viewer on a journey. You are generating an emotional response. When you tell a story, you shift the viewer from being “marketed to” to being entertained while simultaneously being subtly educated about a brand. So if you can saddle the power of video on the horse of a great story, you’re on the trail to developing a great bond between the viewer and your brand.

Happy storytelling!

 

What’s your story? We want to help you tell it.  Reply below and ask us how.

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About the Author: Roshni Hannon
Contact: roshni@madbearproductions.com

Her name means “light” and that is what she is… high energy, bright and fast. And yes… she does run regularly. While we’re not sure what she is running from (perhaps her two young kids) we know she’s covered a ton of ground. She was the Executive Producer for an award winning and number one rated morning show in Tampa for years. And now, she uses her unique blend of organization, storytelling and curiosity to help Mad Bear clients find their stories. Think of her as an architect, a story architect.

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Mad Video Predictions for 2017

The future holds many unknowns. But the world of video is a different story. Gather around as we take a look into our Mad Bear Crystal Ball – which no surprise resembles our new Nokia OZO Virtual Reality camera. Take a minute or two to read Mad Bear’s predictions for the world of video in 2017.

Mad Bear’s Crystal Ball. No, really it’s our 360 camera. But it IS the future of video!

  1. 360 Video/Virtual Reality will be THE dominant buzz technology of the Year.

    3D video, mobile video and even drones have had their time in the “buzz light,” but for 2017 it will be all about 360 Video/VR.


Predictive statistics are already suggesting this will be the case. Here are just some of the resources pointing in that direction:

▪Revenues from virtual reality products (both hardware and software) are projected to increase from 90 million dollars in 2014 to 5.2 billion dollars in 2018. (Read the full Statista report here)

▪Consumer spending on VR headsets will go from 1.6 billion dollars in 2016 to 7.9 billion dollars by 2020 (CNBC)

▪Dip into CES 2017 for a sense of how dominant VR has become already in the shaping of what the word “immersive” means.(Forbes)

2.  Sorry Snapchat. Instagram It Is.

#sorrysnapchat

Instagram will continue to use “video stories” to take marketshare from Snapchat. The meteoric millennial monetization (yes… a three part alliteration) rise of Snapchat has come to an end, as many marketers will move away to Facebook owned Instagram (3 more “m’s”… I’m on fire). There was some writing on the wall several months ago when Instagram copied Snapchat and unveiled stories  (here is one article from AdWeek) but Instagram isn’t done yet. Look for further integration of video in their platform and look for more ways for businesses to utilize the platform to target ads (a la Facebook). There might even be some expiring video content and/or filters added. While I love your new Spectacles Snapchat. It just won’t be enough.

3.  Interactive Video Content Will Move from “Maybe” to “Must Have”

Clickable, shareable, trackable …. it is so nice marketers are ABLE to do these things without ever having to leave a video link. As viewers decreasingly jump between platforms (i.e. “If the content originates on Facebook please don’t send me to a landing page.”), interactive content become the key to keeping people engaged. Interactive in these terms can mean more social media features or even a deeper use of 360 video (see the #1 prediction above).

Here is a good overview article on interactive video from the co-founder of an interactive video company Rapt Media.

So there you have it… three predictions for 2017 … in a way all three say the same thing. Video will move deeper in the direction of consumer initiated engagement. In other words, the video creator will no longer fully control what people experience and how they experience it. Now, the creator is empowered to tell the story so that the viewer can control the experience. So give your viewer the keys, invite them into the driver seat and see where they go. If the ride is good enough, they will come back for more.


About the Author: Glenn Zimmerman

Glenn has what is best described as “Superhero Syndrome.”
His affliction began as a child and has progressed with age.
He got into extreme skiing and extreme sports before they were a thing because every superhero should try flying at least once.

While at Boston University, it was his desire to save the day that brought him to Post- Soviet Russia where he explored the emerging homeless population.

His Syndrome brought him to journalism school at Syracuse University to get his MS in Mass Communications.

He later became an award winning reporter with the number one station in Detroit (WXYZ-TV) and with NBC’s flagship station in New York (WNBC- TV). And, it was the reason he formed the video agency Mad Bear Productions.

With Mad Bear, he harnesses the power of story to help business, non-profits and events engage with their target audience. Video is his tool and he wields it mightily.

Glenn is a sought after speaker on video engagement and mass media. It is all part of his quest to help save the day, one story at a time.

Simple Quality Ingredients

“Simple Quality Ingredients” was the title of a slide I prepared for a recent presentation about Online Video Marketing… so here is the backstory.

Several years ago, I went to a restaurant that promised at most 5 ingredients in every dish. The promise came with an important caveat …. each ingredient was quality. Fresh hand picked basil, fresh homemade mozzarella imported from Italy… you get the point. Simple quality ingredients combined in a thoughtful way made a very unique meal.

The same concept can apply to a video. We finished a piece for an attorney that combined just three ingredients: a quality image (shot in full HD with a broadcast quality P2 camera), some thoughtful supporting graphics that tied the sound bites together and a bed of music to help establish tone.

When we first sat down with the attorney his story was not clearly different, he did what a lot of lawyers do. However, the more he talked the more his voice started sounding unique because he was talking about what being a lawyer meant to him. This became his definition. So we took it literally and decided to graphically rip a page out of the dictionary. “How To Choose a Lawyer” became the title once we realized his definition was much more personal than anything you can find in the dictionary. As for the music, well I don’t know about you… but if I were a lawyer redefining what a lawyer did… I would want some light funk to follow me wherever I went.