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Digital Storytelling | Unlocking The Key Elements to Effective Ads

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Abstract

My thesis aims to uncover the ultimate strategy behind short form visual stories, otherwise known as the digital advertisment. In this thesis, I analyze traditional storytelling, visual storytelling, and short-form visual storytelling in order to uncover the best practices advertisers

Abstract

My thesis aims to uncover the ultimate strategy behind short form visual stories, otherwise known as the digital advertisment. In this thesis, I analyze traditional storytelling, visual storytelling, and short-form visual storytelling in order to uncover the best practices advertisers should use when crafting a digital advertisement. 

Storytelling “reveals elements and images of a story while also catalyzing the imagination of the listener” (National Storytelling Network, 2017).  This tradition has two purposes for society: a neurological structure, and a social mechanism (for historic preservation, human interaction, and a vehicle for connecting with others) (Gottshcall, 2012; Scott, 2012; Paul, 2012; Woodside, 2008). 

Visual Storytelling is “using photography, illustration, video, (usually with a musical enhancement) to guide” the human brain along a plotline, and has an unlimited timeframe (Ron, 2017). There are seven key elements to effective visual storytelling: A listener/audience, an element of realism coupled with escapism, a focus on the dread of life, an element of the unknown, emotion, simplicity, and a three-part plot structure (Andrews, 2010; ProQuest, 2012; Zak, 2014; Stanton, 2014; Reagan, 2016; Jarvis, 2014; Petrick, 2014)

In the words of Sholmi Ron, from a marketing perspective, “Visual [short hand] Storytelling is a marketing strategy that communicates powerful ideas through a compelling story arc, with your customer at the heart of the story, and delivered through interactive and immersive visual media – in order to create profitable customer engagements" (Ron, 2017). This advertising strategy has four best practices: non-obvious logo placement, a comedic emotion, multiple emotional arcs, and a relevant message (Golan, 2017; Teixeira, 2015; Graves, 2017, Teixeira, 2017). These are important to understand because, in 2017, online consumers can be described as skeptical, conscious of content, individualistic, and drawn to authenticity (Teixeira, 2014). 

To supplement my findings, I conducted primary research by analyzing the 2017 Super Bowl videos against a criteria created using the best practices previously identified (in Part 1 and Part 2). Through the data collection of the 66 videos, I uncovered the most popular plotline is "fall than rise," the most popular emotions are humor, inspiration, and empathy and people tend to have a preference towards videos that are more realistic and simplistic in nature. 

In the end, I recommend that advertisers identify an authentic yet relevant message, while employing a comedic, inspirational, or empathic tone, and that they place their ads exclusively for their target market. Additionally, producers should use a fall then rise plotline (with multiple mini plot peaks and valleys), a "logo-pulsing" strategy, and a minimal amount of characters and settings to keep the audience's focus on the ad’s message.

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Created

Date Created
2017-05

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Creating Immersion through Storytelling in Theme Parks, Museums, and Virtual Environments

Description

Storytelling is innately human, and research has shown it has the powerful ability to "transport" people into a narrative. Literature on the topic of immersion discusses how technology form perceptual illusions to make a user feel detached from reality and

Storytelling is innately human, and research has shown it has the powerful ability to "transport" people into a narrative. Literature on the topic of immersion discusses how technology form perceptual illusions to make a user feel detached from reality and create an impactful escapist experience. By examining and synthesizing relevant literature, key methods of storytelling used in theme parks, museums, and virtual environments that are used to deepen immersive experiences were identified. A model of the demonstrated techniques and methods for facilitating immersion through storytelling in these varying contexts has been created to suggest that these methods can be applied to other settings to foster a richer experience for users and guests.

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Created

Date Created
2016-05

On Music Videos

Description

"On Music Videos" is an exploration of music videos, particularly narrative ones. As such, a brief history of the music video and its genres are examined. Ideas about narrative are also discussed through descriptions of what is meant by "story,"

"On Music Videos" is an exploration of music videos, particularly narrative ones. As such, a brief history of the music video and its genres are examined. Ideas about narrative are also discussed through descriptions of what is meant by "story," based on theories from Pixar animators as well as author J.R.R. Tolkien. The connections between how story fits with music videos is then outlined. From this background research one is able to analyze examples of existing narrative music videos, before applying this knowledge and reflecting on the process of creating a narrative music video.

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Created

Date Created
2015-05

The Oval Portrait: A Graphic Novel Adaptation

Description

A collection of storyboards for a graphic novel adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe's "The Oval Portrait." These are drawn in a horror comic style and explore the gothic themes present in "The Oval Portrait" in a visual manner.

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Created

Date Created
2021-05