Stickiness and Brain Food
1 Camera, 2 people and the world is yours
I know that many of you are still struggling with creating your one-man videos. So while this may seem like overkill, I want you to see where you’re going to be very soon. The truth is, making one-man videos is a struggle. If you can recruit even one person to your cause, a world of possibilities will open up.
Today we’re going to look at a particular kind of video called the mini-documentary. This is one that really needs 2 people to pull off. One will be on-camera and one will be behind the camera. By the time we’re done, you will have the outlines of what, how, who, when, where and why to shoot everything around this mini-documentary. And you’ll know what to shoot with.
And even if you have no interest in adding a second person to your growing movie studio, you’ll be able to use 100% of this information in your own videos. So let’s get started, shall we?
Atlas Shrugged… and so did Hollywood
Have you ever read Atlas Shrugged? All 1040 pages? If so, you know that it’s about half story and three quarters philosophy expressed in the format of a novel. Breathtaking in scope, but the characters leave you wanting.
Hollywood must have felt the same way, because although the book was a smashing success when it debuted in 1959, it took 50 years before it was made into a motion picture. And when it finally happened, they had the same problem. Too much philosophy, not enough characters to love. Hollywood was onto something in those early days. But what, precisely?
The Difference Between Video and Writing
People often speak of videos in the same breath as they do writing. This is unfortunate because it presents the notion that video is consumed in a similar way. It isn’t.
Video engages a different part of your brain than does writing. When you read, your imagination works to process the symbols that make up the words and make sense of them and create meaning from them.
When you engage with a video, your brain turns off its symbol aggregator and engages the part of itself that processes emotions and non-logical thinking. It expects to do that. If you don’t give it that, it becomes bored and begins analyzing and becoming a critic. That’s what you don’t want to have happen.
Video as Brain Food
The answer is easy. Give the brain something to feel something about. In their ground-breaking book, Made to Stick, authors Dan and Chip Heath explain why some ideas stick and others do not. One of the main arguments they make, though they don’t talk about it much, is to use video to make your ideas stick. Why do I say this? Let’s look closer.
Their formula for creating sticky ideas is called the SUCCESs formula.
This is a great paradigm for almost any video. A simple story, told in an unexpected way, using concrete words and symbols to educate people about complex issues, using emotion to cement important concepts and supplying credible sources along the way. There is no better way to make a video. Why? Because the medium of moving pictures is tailor-made for telling stories that unfold in the present tense. We watch videos and movies in the hopes that we will get caught up in the action and have a powerful moral lesson brought home in a visceral way. What is this but the most effective way to create a sticky idea?
What’s Your Sticky Idea?
What are the ideas you wish to bring to your audience? How do you want them to feel about your company? Who is your audience? Do you have more than one? What makes them excited, disturbed, happy or anxious?
When you have a clear picture of that person, you can begin to tell them your story in a way that makes sense to them. The problem is that we possess “the curse of knowledge,” This makes communicating with our audience more difficult than it would be if we didn’t have so much knowledge of what we do. Therefore we need to create visual shortcuts to bring them along. But just because you are capable of being simple doesn’t mean you should.
Don’t Get Too “Sticky”
A dentist making a video would not say, “I’m looking for people who like to have sharp needles stuck into sensitive parts of their bodies. Are you that kind of person? If so, come on down!” You need more elements.
A dentist who knew his target profile might say “If you’re tired of the hassle you get from surly receptionists who slam their glass windows closed on you, if you’re tired of billing departments who just say no to the care you really need, call us today. We treat the person, not the disease.” Here’s a doctor who sees that his target profile is a patient who wants something extra. And that something is to be valued.
Simple, unexpected, concrete examples, a bit of a story, and credibility from the dentist speaking himself. Is it unforgettable? Well, if you’re that person, perhaps it’s powerful enough to get you to the telephone and see if they really do act the way the doc says they do.
So let’s say you have your sticky idea and know your audience. How do you take this information and create a memorable mini-documentrary? Let’s go to Part II and find out!
Footnote: Rumors are swirling around Hollywood that Atlas Shrugged is to be made into a major motion picture starring Angelina Jolie. Sign of the times…
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©2011 BrainyVideo. All Rights Reserved.
Article written by Steven Washer
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