A brand-new take on writing the perfect brand video
There are millions of brands, waiting to tell millions of stories. Some memorable, some not. In this ocean of noise, how do you tell your brand story in a way that sticks in your consumers’ minds. The answer lies in the question itself – tell a ‘story’, don’t just talk. A story told with visuals, sounds and a lot of heart offers a sensory experience of your brand no other medium can. To become an effective storyteller, however, you need to be an accomplished scriptwriter. So, what makes for the perfect script? Let’s find out.
1. Ask, and you shall proceed!
Often, you’ll find that the secret to the right answers, is asking the right questions. Before even putting pen to paper (or finger to keyboard), start by being inquisitive, being curious. Try to determine the objective of your video, who is it talking to and what message is it conveying? And, most importantly, is that message relevant to that target?
These questions will generate the guiding lights of the content. With the bona fide answers, you are already halfway there.
2. Know your audience.
This is a critical stage in scripting as at the end of the day you are talking to your Target Group. Try to find out everything you can about them – from their habits to their rituals. Digging for insights will lead you on a journey where you discover something new every day. Ultimately, you’ll arrive at a message that will resonate with them.
A striking example of this is Apple’s ‘What is your verse’ video. We may never know if they drafted a book of their audience anatomy because they evoked emotions by reimagining Robin Williams’ dialogue from Dead Poet’s Society. It is an excellent way to glue audience to the video content.
Watch the video here:
3. Handcraft your narrative.
Your narrative might be the best of its kind in your imagination, but how you put it on paper is the challenge. It needs all the ingredients it takes to plate your story in the best way possible. Here’s what to keep in mind while you start.
The first step before you pen down any words is to condense the core message in one line. The next step is to think of ways to communicate it. Should the visuals do the talking or do you need dialogue to deliver the impact? Make sure your message is not lost amidst various elements that don’t sync, and complicated thoughts that are not coherent.
In today’s world, you are trying to converse with an audience that’s exposed to noise – multiple communications across multiple media that they would rather ignore. That’s why it’s important to focus on a singular message. Don’t try to say many things to many people. This will not only get their attention, but also entertain them by stirring curiosity and engagement. Just like how a professional photographer takes time to decide the focus point for that perfect shot, a scriptwriter should also invest a good amount of time on deciding what the audience would like to see, hear, feel and think.
The tone usually comes down to stitching together what you want to say with how you want to say it. This depends on what sort of brand you are. You can choose to be funny, sentimental or inspirational as long as it is closely tied to your objective. Studies indicate that emotional appeal works best when the need is to tug at the heartstrings. But humor ticks all the boxes when you want to be entertaining as well as memorable.
When you have these three covered, the narrative will flow like a charm, and you’ll have your first draft ready. Which leads us to the next step.
4. Make the Cut!
It is often mistaken that the more you speak, more of the message is conveyed. On the contrary, even a single word more than necessary is a waste of time, energy and production cost. The crisper your message, the sharper it is. This precision helps hold the attention span of your audience and also results in good brand recall. Of course, some stories need time to build up the narrative and then deliver the knockout punch.
The trick is to cut to just the right length – not shorter, not longer. You will know once you read, re-read and re-edit your first draft.
5. Get Feedback to Get it Right.
You have with you, what you think is the perfect script. You have read it and edited it a thousand times. But a fatigued pair of eyes can still miss obvious blunders so pass it amongst a trusted circle of friends and peers for review, and more importantly, feedback. You’ll be surprised how much new perspective a fresh pair of eyes can offer. It will only make the script tighter, and better.
6. Play it in your head.
The script is just the foundation, on which your work of art will be built. To ensure that all elements are in place, the narrative flows just right, and the tonality is precise – play the video in your head. There’s no better critic than the one in your head. It will tell you if there’s a lack of continuity or irrelevant fluff. Your mind will rescue what your eyes couldn’t. So, use your imagination and visualize the video in its entirety before heading to the production department.
So there you are. A starter-kit to get going on the ultimate script for your brand. Do bear in mind, in no way is this list comprehensive. A lot of learning and un-learning will happen once you start. The more you write, the better you’ll become. Get going.