Robert McKee, one of the most influential screenwriters of our time famously said ‘storytelling is the most powerful way to put ideas into the world today’.  This statement could not be more pertinent in today’s digital world.  Storytelling through video establishes a connection with the hearts and minds of viewers.  A good story evokes emotion, persuades and even compels. More importantly, people who have felt something whilst being lost in a good story want to share and experience the feeling over and over again.  Almost half of our brain is involved in visual processing.  Considering that the average person takes three to eight seconds to loose or gain attention, it is no wonder that businesses around the world are using emotive storytelling to capture their audience’s attention.

Why video is so successful in engaging viewers is due to its ability to answer one question very well…why?  Simon Sinek’s internationally acclaimed TED talk how great leaders inspire action succinctly explains that a key section of the human brain is stimulated when understanding why a company or business does what it does.  If we as marketers could create content that connects to this part of our brains, then wouldn’t more people buy our products?

Sinek speaks about the neocortex part of our brain being responsible for our rational and analytical thoughts and language (the what), and the limbic part of our brains, which focuses on the important why level.  Our limbic brain is responsible for our feelings like trust, loyalty and most importantly for businesses – decision making.  Consequently, the limbic brain has no capacity for language and is based purely on emotion and feelings.  When we create a video that tells a story and evokes a feeling, we connect to the limbic part of our brain and are more likely to form a connection to the product or brand.  On the contrary, have you ever been relayed numerous facts and figures about a product or brand yet you don’t purchase the product because it ‘just doesn’t feel right’?  This is because the advertisement has not connected to the limbic part of your brain.  Communicating the ‘what’ level about a product does not drive human behaviour.  Communicating the ‘why’ level does.

So I guess that’s why we feel inclined to share some videos or advertisements more than others.  It is fundamentally linked to videos that we feel a connection with, videos that tell a story and provoke emotion.

If we look at Budweiser’s Best Buds video that featured in the top 10 most viewed and shared YouTube clips of 2014,  this clip not only tells a story, but it also it evokes feelings of friendship and loyalty.  Through clever story telling this clip will have you believe that Budweiser is not just a beer, but it is also a key ingredient in the ongoing relationship with some close to you.

Similarly, Qantas’ current feels like home campaign portrays the company’s existence as one that connects people with their families and not just an airline seat to sit on as one makes their way back home this festive season. It’s difficult not to think about your own my family while watching this clip and associate familiarity, confidence and trust with the Qantas brand at the same time.

It’s important that organisations understand the value in creating video content that tells a story and evokes emotion.  Video is widely considered to be the most powerful tool at marketer’s disposal.  It is unique in its ability to be multifaceted in appealing to the viewer’s senses through storytelling.  Emotion drives consumer behaviour and therefore we must create video’s that connects to our feelings and trust in our brands. It has been proven that our brains are not hard-wired to understand logic or retain facts for very long, they are wired to understand and retain stories.  Video marketing; it just feels right.

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