Speak Creative | The Need for Narrative

The Need for Narrative

By 2020, there will be almost a million minutes of video per second crossing the internet. Cisco adds that, by then, 82% of all consumer web traffic will be video. With so many brands vying for our attention, video is emerging as a clear leader to grab attention, invoke emotion, and get your audience to act. 

Shelby County Sheriff's Department recognized that rather than tell their audience they were recruiting new deputies they’d show them and inspire them to act. They shared with us their goals and we built a narrative to make it happen. 

In this project, the need for narrative confirmed itself over and over. When we think through a narrative we work backward from the call to action (CTA). The Shelby County Sheriff's Department wanted to call people to the action of applying for a job. With this CTA in mind, we developed our resolution: getting the job. Emotion plays a big role in how we will get to that resolution. According to HubSpot:

  • Happiness leads to sharing
  • Sadness leads to giving
  • Fear leads to loyalty
  • Passion leads to virality

While we believe that you can get your audience to share a sad video and that you can obtain loyalty without scaring anyone, we won’t argue that different emotions create different reactions. In this video, we wanted to inspire ultimately leading folks to apply or at the very least share the video with their friends, family, and followers.  So happiness and passion are the emotions we wanted the viewer to feel.

We laid a foundation by determining our resolution and sentiment, but then we had to create the other elements of our narrative. Here are the four pillars we typically think through when developing a narrative:

  • Characters
  • Quest
  • Climax
  • Resolution/CTA

We decided on our characters by putting ourselves in the storyline and thinking on key elements such as family upbringing, economic circumstances, and how relatable the characters would be to our target audience. It’s important for us to ask ourselves these questions as we shape the characters because we are all humans, even Sheriffs. We decided on our quest by digging into the reality of today’s culture. We put our heads together and talked through the challenges and oppositions law enforcement face in our current day and age. By doing this we were able to ensure our storyline was relatable, reliable, and realistic. Our climax was a natural fit with the quest we were taking, a young man who aspires to be like his mom, even to the point of “getting caught” with her badge. Most of us would be led to think the mother would be upset, but instead, she honors her son with affirmation and love. For our resolution, spoiler-alert, little Reggie gets the job inspiring us to know that there is a Sheriff in all of us.

Here you can watch the finished product that demonstrates why a narrative is key to get your audience to act: 

Shelby County Deputy Sheriff Recruiting from Speak Creative on Vimeo.

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Are you having trouble getting your audience to respond? Do you have a story you need to tell? Our cinematographers would love to chat with you about how to make your brand come to life.

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Posted by Ty Stinson at 09:22
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