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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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Date Created
2017-05

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Digital Media and Technology in the Fashion Industry

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The purpose of this thesis is to examine the effects of digital on the fashion industry. In order to accomplish this, we must first examine the fashion industry, as well as the emerging digital space, and how these two industries

The purpose of this thesis is to examine the effects of digital on the fashion industry. In order to accomplish this, we must first examine the fashion industry, as well as the emerging digital space, and how these two industries are rapidly colliding. Fashion, an industry that has been around since the early 1800s in the United States (Fashion History: The American System for Fashion, 2009), is being forced to pivot, and change its traditional practices, in order to remain relevant in a world heavily influenced by the Internet and consumer preferences. The largest changes taking place within fashion include the power of various industry influencers, including designers, magazines, retailers and lifestyle bloggers, and the rise of blogging as a fashion news source. Although designers, magazines and retailers still have significant clout within the industry, bloggers are becoming a force to be reckoned with, adding a new variable to the industry.

Meanwhile, digital is still being defined, as countless people work to determine best practices and reconcile the unending amount of information available into something that can be used. Trends in digital include the concept of new media, blogging, social media and new channels of media. Overall, we are seeing a shift to user-­‐ generated content, available all the time, and a proliferation of content being created and published on the Web.

Some of the ways these two industries are colliding include the rise of lifestyle bloggers, developments and usage of technology, an abundance of new e-­‐commerce models, and finally, a shift in the ways consumers curate and discover products online.

Predictions for the future include a more streamlined and user-­‐friendly process for search and product discovery online, increase in social commerce and personalization of products, and finally, a return to brick and mortar shopping, but with an improved, experiential model. These trends will affect industry stakeholders dramatically, and so necessary actions for these stakeholders are also discussed, such as allocating more resources to content generation and e-­‐commerce, giving consumers the ability to personalize, and improving their physical shopping experiences to provide something valuable and entertaining.

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2013-05