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What makes your story convincing?

January 12, 2022

The one approach to marketing that people tend to overlook

In branded content videos there’s a tendency to write everything into the script in words so the client, and their boss know very specifically that it’s there. Hitting those message house items is all very well but it can end up being a list not a story. It’s important to remember you don’t have to say ‘everything’. It’s often easier, faster and more effective to show and not tell. 

The latest iPhone ads are an exemplary case in point. They not only lift the veil on some cool Hollywood filming techniques, they also illustrate this extremely simple principle in video communications. 

The temptation to write everything into a voice over or text on screen is completely natural. After all, for most of us the experience of the written word is as a reader or listener. But writing ‘for the vision’ is an art unto itself and an incredibly efficient way to share ideas and concepts effectively and quickly without ramming it down your throat.

Here are a few commercials that adhere to the “show don’t tell” principle:

1. Apple

As mentioned above, the new Apple commercials are a master class in show don’t tell. They released three videos to show the iPhone 13 Pro’s low-light, zoom, and cinematic mode capabilities in action. The commercials are a parody of classic Hollywood filmmaking techniques. 

To show the low-light capability, they parodied the production of a horror movie, where most of the lighting is limited. With the iPhone, the character’s face is crystal-clear even in low-light conditions.

When it comes to the zoom capabilities, they parodied a dramatic scene, where a character’s close-up is often shown. Then, a cinematic mode shows the iPhone’s ability to blur out the background (in this case, a secondary character so the focus is on the main character.)

These commercials don’t just list what the Apple products offer, but rather they show not only how they are utilised and benefit the user, but how they can be used to great effect, as in serious cinematic scenes. 

2. Indeed

As one of the largest job portals worldwide, Indeed is useful for job postings and blogs about tips to be successful in the workplace or ace an upcoming interview.

Recently, Indeed released a video showing how a non-binary person prepares for an interview by reading a blog post about interview tips for non-binary and transgender people. The character practices and chooses the right outfit for the interview.

This shows the tips in action, not stated just as bullet points on the side. It also has an emotional appeal that not only connects to the target community, but also encourages the wider public to show empathy to people in a similar situation.

3. Airbnb

Airbnb is one of the largest online marketplaces for lodging and vacation rentals. It connects the place’s owner (known as the host) to potential renters. Aside from being more affordable, you can also forge a more personal relationship with your host, which might not be possible with a hotel concierge. 

For example, when visiting Paris, a hotel concierge might point you in the direction of the regular tourist hotspots, such as the Eiffel Tower or the Louvre Museum. Meanwhile, your host (a local Parisian) might recommend hidden gems of Paris and let you experience the City of Lights like a local, , as shown in the video below that showcases how Airbnb is beneficial.

4. ExtraHop

The world of IT and tech is confusing — its jargon is not easily understood by anyone outside of the industry. Therefore, many cybersecurity solutions try simple creativity to woo clients; ExtraHop is no exception.

In the video, ExtraHop acts as a security guard to your network, represented via a lobby. Three bad actors are trying to pass the lobby, including ransomware, Advanced Persistent Threat (APT), and supply chain compromise. However, with ExtraHop as your security guard, these threats are immediately identified before they can infiltrate past the lobby of your network. 

5. Nintendo

We have made the case on why you should ride the wave of nostalgia marketing. One of the examples given was the Nintendo Switch, where it shows two brothers reuniting playing the Switch, just like old times. The video doesn’t show you how to play but offers an emotional story on how Nintendo Switch can be a bonding experience for siblings.

This will let audiences draw parallels to their own lives and childhood, growing up and bonding with a sibling. There’s no text or voiceover, just a visual representation of how Nintendo has played a role in the characters’ lives.

6. Logitech

As remote working becomes the norm due to the pandemic, we have to be connected with multiple devices to be productive and collaborate. But who likes all the excess wires, dongles, and chargers lying around? With its Logi Dock, an all-in-one docking station, Logitech is ready to help.

Logitech ~ Logi Dock from ManvsMachine on Vimeo.

Its ad shows messy wires breaking free to be connected to the product seamlessly, showing that Logi Dock is all you need to have a clutter-free workstation.

The takeaway

Keep in mind that your audience is smart. They understand subtle and quick visuals. Therefore, make a simple script that replaces words with visuals There’s no need to “describe” everything to the last detail. Video remains the top form of content marketing this year, it’s important to do it well.

Read more from Click2View:

  1. Why minimalism is trendy when it comes to rebranding
  2. Five trends to look out for in the new year
  3. Say goodbye to human influencers

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