The story of the double hump camel

The classic story arc is often depicted in the shape of a hump, starting at the base of exposition with rising action to the climax, which falls off to the final resolution. This formula has served us well for many decades, arresting the attention of a lean back audience just waiting to be entertained.

In today’s environment, however, this model is proving less effective. Our mobile toting, easily distracted, fast scrolling, content snacking, interacting audience is a quick flick of the finger away from scrolling straight past your beautifully considered video to the adorable kitten in the next post.

The pervading wisdom to combat this trend is to make shorter and shorter content. However, the facts remain that stories need to be no longer or shorter than it takes to tell them well; and audiences will spend time with video content if it’s engaging and relevant.

One solution  is what I affectionately call the ‘double hump camel’. With this approach, the first story arc happens very quickly, capturing attention up front in the first few seconds and quickly delivering a concise brand message. Some of the audience will keep scrolling and that’s ok, you’ve achieved more than you would have otherwise. More importantly, you pique the interest of your key target audience and encourage them to stay to experience the ‘second hump’, where you can take a little more time to deliver the complete, expanded message to an engaged audience.

So, ask yourself, one hump or two?

A few of my favourite tions

Interaction

An interactive conversation is always going to be more satisfying than being talked at. Sure there are times just listening can be engaging, but more often than not being participatory adds to the experience. Interaction, when it comes to communication and advertising, adds so much potential for engagement, personalisation, self expression and brand development. With the digitalisation of more and more media (TV, radio & even print if digital paper progresses) the potential for interactivity will only increase and along with it the expectation of customers that they will be able to influence and customise how, when & with who they engage with. Best start practising now then.

Integration

It should be so obvious shouldn’t it? Unlike those of us in the industry, the public are only occasionally exposed to a brand amongst many, many thousands of other advertising messages. Given this, shouldn’t it be pretty clear that the right hand needs to know what the left hand is doing and that the messages need to be integrated? Disparate messages from one brand will just be further diluted in the mass of information we all encounter every day. I’m not suggesting it should be the same message, but it absolutely needs to be communicated with the same voice. Like the arc of a good novel, a brand’s story should build over touch points to communicate an integrated message.

 

it absolutely needs to be communicated with the same voice

Innovation

Change is good. Embrace change. Change is progress. Like stagnant water, without movement and forward progress we wither and die. Without constant renewal all things naturally move towards decay. Technologically we’re living with the fastest rate of change in human history and no where is this more apparent than in communications and access to information. For brands this means that what worked last year isn’t necessarily going to work this year. We must innovate to survive.

Collaboration

Collaboration makes us smarter, it’s crowd sourcing, it’s open-source, it’s learning and sharing with each other, across disciplines, across generations, across cultural and physical divides. Humanity coming together to solve issues is inspiring and rewarding for all involved. Of course we’ve all experienced the singular vision of a great idea be corrupted by group consensus but it really doesn’t get any better than when like minded individuals with diverse talents and experience collaborate towards a common goal.