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Engage, Motivate and Entertain: Three Storytelling Plot Elements for your Video

Posted by Katie Hauser on March 23, 2016

Evin Charles Anderson is CEO & Creative Partner for Waverley Knobs where he explores the intersection of performance, production and promotion.

“After nourishment, shelter and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world.” – Philip Pullman

Every company has a story that deserves to be told but how do we effectively tell that story? How do we grab the attention of our target market while sharing the necessary content and without coming off as too “salesy”?

A major facet to think about is the plot of the story that you want to share. Christopher Booker, author of The Seven Basic Plots: Why We Tell Stories, asserts that there are seven fundamental narratives that we can look at.

I have created a breakdown of 3 of those basic plots below and how companies can utilize them within their video brand marketing.

THE QUEST

Our protagonist or hero must travel from point A to B in order to obtain a specific object or reach a specific goal. Through this quest, the hero faces obstacles, which in turn assist with the hero’s personal growth. Many companies, such as Lowe’s, has utilized different variations of this concept as they show people attempting to reach products or overcoming obstacles through the services a company provides.

REBIRTH/ TRANSFORMATION

This plot is based on a main character that goes through an inner change. Life’s events will potentially alter a person’s perception on the environment around them, transforming them into a better person. When it comes to a company, this plot point can be utilized for major events such as rebranding to highlight their transformation. Chrysler, during the recession, decided to inspire their consumers by creating a video to show they were down but not out.

OVERCOMING THE MONSTER:

Think of Star Wars where you have a story of good versus evil. The hero attempts to overcome obstacles in order to takedown the villain. For many companies, they utilize this plot to highlight “underdog stories”. A great example of this concept can be seen by Gatorade’s Win from Within campaign. It highlights athletes as they take on the bigger, stronger, and fast opposition (while being powered by Gatorade).

Evin Charles Anderson is CEO & Creative Partner for Waverley Knobs where he explores the intersection of performance, production and promotion. He helps clients shape, shoot and share unique and engaging brand stories that inspire action, innovation and change.