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?