People have been telling stories around the campfire for as long as there’s been campfires and as long as there have been people. So why now is storytelling so important?
Stories have always been important – the difference in 2019 is that almost everyone now has control over the means of distribution. In other words we can all broadcast our own stories through digital media and video production.
Through the ubiquity of Instagram and various other social media platforms allowing us to broadcast our personal stories, we now expect brands to do the same. Before we reach for that ketchup, before we buy that car, before we invest our money, we want to know the brand story.
Who’s the CEO? What are they like? Are they ethical? Do I like them? Do they share my values? These are all questions consumers now ask themselves before they purchase.
Take for example one of our video clients- Altima Dental. This large dental franchise was founded almost 30 years ago by two dentists who discovered economies of scale by working in a collective model with other dentists. These partners have built a huge Canadian dental chain with over 100 locations across Canada.
The video we did with them told their origin story and revealed them to be dedicated, knowledgeable and truly caring CEOs. They come across as warm family oriented individuals and strong and capable partners. They have a great story.
And that is the power of good video marketing. It tells a story like nothing else. The warmth of their friendship as they nod in agreement at each other’s statements can’t be conveyed in a blog. The smile of recognition as a dental partner greets them when they enter their office cannot be captured on a billboard.
For the video closing, we created a map of Canada and animated each of the 100 Altima locations as they populated the map. It’s one thing to say you have a hundred locations, but showing that quantity in a visual way really drives that message home. If there are over a hundred Altima locations right across Canada then surely these guys are onto something.
In the end this was a simple video to make. We worked with their agency to produce a script that was vetted and approved by the Altima marketing team, which we then loaded on a teleprompter. We did the interviews in half a day in studio, and then spent another half day shooting b-roll. We collected archival photos from the Altima marketing team to support the dentists stories of starting out and building their brand slowly over the years. We spent a few hours creating the animation and in about 2 weeks we had a rough cut.
The dentists were very pleased with the results. The video has become a powerful testimonial to the trust they have built with their employees, their patients and their partners. The format of the video was quite simple but effective.
We recommend personal CEO such as this for certain companies but not all. Before we start on a project such as this we will meet with the CEO. We will be honest about whether or not the CEO will come across well on video. In this case we were sure they would – but in other cases where the CEO is not authentically likable, we might propose a different approach. Another popular approach is an animated explainer video. Or we may propose having the CEO voice over the content without appearing on camera.
So this is why 2019 has become the year of the story. our Altima Dental video is just one of the thousands of such videos uploaded to YouTube everyday. Storytelling has become the way in which many people make their purchase decisions. It’s no longer enough to surf the net reading websites. People want to press play. In 2019, they want to hear the Brand Story. By 2020, they will expect nothing less.