How To Tell A Story In 30 Seconds

Stories have always been part of the human experience. Since we were children, our parents would tell us fairytales and stories of people from faraway lands. Growing up, we read stories to discover new worlds and to escape reality. Stories can be found in our everyday experiences and in the little things we do.

In this information-saturated age, brands won’t be noticed by consumers unless they’re telling stories. According to Nick Morgan, author of Power Cues and founder of Public Words, a communications consulting firm, “Facts and figures and all the rational things that we think are important in the business world actually don’t stick in our minds at all.” Cramming information to a 30-seconder isn’t advisable when the audience will only forget it when the next ad loads up. However when brands tell stories, it makes a more lasting impact.

Stories create “sticky” memories due to their emotional appeal. Emotional attachment thus makes people more easily persuaded to the things they see or hear. Some of the most memorable ads have been built out of stories taken from everyday life. By sharing stories, brands are able to create a connection with the audience which is worth more than just a one-time purchase.

Here are some tips to help you create a story for your ad:

1.  Think about the message

Ask yourself who your audience is and what message you want to share. Think of a compelling statement or big idea that will be most effective for the type of audience you are targeting. This will involve a lot of research and insight so you can really know what concept would be effective. Gather your team and pitch ideas to each other so you can get a feel of the pulse of the people.

2. Develop a storyline

After the message comes the crucial part. How will the story go? The following are the elements you need for the storyline: hero, goal, obstacle, and outcome.

The hero is the protagonist or the person whom the audience will root for. The goal can be in the form of an object, person, or an action that the hero desires. The obstacle is a hindrance to the hero’s goal. Finally, the outcome can be as creative as possible depending on the desired emotional reaction – some leave the ending as a cliffhanger so the audience can decide for themselves.

With just these elements, your story can take off and capture the hearts of the audience.

If you’re wondering where your product of brand will fit in to the storyline, (after all, it is an ad) don’t stress. It should be woven smoothly into the story through branding. Branding your ads seamlessly will remind the audience of your brand without being annoyed with product placement.

3. Cut it down, keep it simple

Once the storyline is finished, cut down on excess details that aren’t supplemental to the message you’re trying to deliver. You have to be straightforward but also keep the audience interested. There’s no need for long dialogue if the visuals can do the talking. The final storyline doesn’t need to be complex nor lengthy as long as you’re able to drive the point home.

With the competition for audience attention harder now than ever, more brands are turning to emotional storytelling to capture their audience. It’s not just competition with other brands anymore; they are also competing with the audience’s attention span. People want it quick and easy, but also want to get some value from ads.

That’s why ads are actually good storytelling venues. With stories, brands are able to relate to their audiences at a more personal level. It differentiates them from the information clutter. And in the end, what’s good about storytelling is that it lets the audience create a bond with the brand and the product, proving that our experiences are relatable and can be shared.