I love this video. We all have some notion of what makes a viral video, but hearing it articulated is fascinating. Still, I initially had trouble figuring out how I could apply this to business. After some thought, I realized it really boils down to one thing: knowing your audience. Here are some tips for applying these teachings to your average corporate video.
No one says, “Hey, Jean, list that sequence of events again! That was the best!”
But pretty much everyone has said something like, “Oh, I can’t do that story justice. Jean, can you tell it?” The experience is the story.
You intuitively get meaning and importance when a story is told in a way that delights, excites, or moves you. This is the world of the aesthetic, the world of feeling things fully. Beauty, interpretation, emotion. All of this comes when a story is told in a way that understands that humans are listening.
…this blogpost! Which refuses to even hint at its point. And yet you read on.
It’s like I drove up beside you, waved, smiled, winked, and sped ahead. So you turned the ignition, pressed the gas pedal, and tailed me. You wondered where I was going, figured I had a destination worth your trip. Intrigued, you were drawn onward, zipping through forests and hills.
Of course, you only had so much patience. At some point, you got tired of the winding roads (though weren’t they beautiful?) and wanted to reach the destination. But even this frustration was part of the plan! It simply made you all the more excited for me to pull to the side, step out of the car, and point toward…
“The world will never be the same.”
Cut to someone working feverishly at a desk, under some kind of extreme pressure from their boss. Then we break the world, diving “into” the computer to see a representation of how much data we now have to deal with. Data is (are?) shown as piles and piles of cubes. Or balls. Or undifferentiated “stuff”. Enter Product™, which cleans up all the cubes into Actionable Insights. Next thing you know, the main character is drinking mai tais on the beach using a sack of money as a pillow.
How long should a video be? It’s a question that we get a lot from clients, and it’s also a question we think many content makers aren’t asking. The answer isn’t necessarily about length. It’s not even about content. It’s about context—that is, what expectations does someone have for a piece of content?