Chapter Ten: The Write Stuff
Step Two: SCRIPT
When looking at different mediums of creative broadcast arts, and this applies to everything from online video to broadcast television to feature films, there’s one thing for certain. It doesn’t matter how much money you spend, how great the talent and visual effects are, or how you decide to market your project, unless you’ve got one critical element first. A good script. Great storytelling starts with great writing and if you don’t have a good script to start with, the rest won’t really matter.
Just think about the ads, videos, TV shows, and films you really like and guess what they all have in common. Someone wrote (and rewrote) a script that touched your memories and emotions. It’s just as true for the movie that wins the Oscar for best picture as it is for a short video that tells your company’s story.
Your script needs to pinpoint the problem or need the consumer has, but you don’t reach people on an emotional level by trying to sell them something. You do it by making them feel like you understand their issues and desires. You need to speak to them personally, not just professionally. Too many companies get caught up in sell, sell, sell, when the real ROI comes from tell, tell, tell.
Tell an accessible story, one the customer can easily relate to. We’ve been very effective at helping clients take businesses that seem very complex, and making them very simple.
If you’re selling a product, another thing you definitely don’t want to do is let the engineer or designer that developed it to make a video about its value and benefits. (No offense to engineers or designers: you are key players in a company’s success, but you ain’t writers.)
When an engineer or designer thinks about a product, they get excited about all of the incredible features they’ve created. One of the things we’ve learned is that the features you think are important aren’t necessarily important to the people who use your product. It’s not that the features don’t matter, because they do, but what people really want is for you to help overcome their challenges and solve their problems. Once you’ve established this trust in words, you can move on to the next step, the visuals.
When our writers are working on a script, they’re constantly thinking about visuals, as well. There’s a delicate balance between professionals trained in the art of written and verbal language and those that rely on visual images. But when they both go in knowing the basics of brain science, it makes for an easier and more effective collaboration.
Scriptwriters are constantly rethinking and rewriting, while animators react more instinctively because that’s what they’re trained to do in visual literacy. But as long as they’re both thinking about blending their creative skills with brain science, there’s a convergence.
Some people call this dynamic “co-intelligence,” where various individuals come together to bring out the best in each other and produce a level of quality that could only be accomplished as a team.
Time spent watching video ads totaled 3.9 billion minutes.