One of the first questions we ask ourselves at IdeaRocket when we’re writing a new script is: “Who Is The Hero?” Answering that question is the key to crafting the marketing narrative that shall follow.
There are only six possible answers to this question:
Perhaps the safest answer to the “Who Is The Hero?” question is the Customer. They are who you are trying to persuade, so since it’s a good bet that people are interested in themselves, making the customer the hero is usually a sound idea. The narrative is most often the classic three acts: 1) the Customer has a problem/pain point, 2) they discover the product, 3) their problem suddenly ceases and they live happily ever after. Here’s a spot we did for the Grip agency in Canada for Dare Breton Gluten-Free Crackers.
Your company or product is what you’re trying to sell, so letting it be the protagonist of your narrative is an attractive option. By personifying your company or product, you can truly create a personality for your brand. A good example of this is the work that Will Vinton did for the California Raisins back in the 80s.
The Pain Point
Often times it’s a good idea to dramatize the problem that your product is trying to solve. This is often a fun approach, because the Pain Point is usually a villain, and villains are awfully fun to depict. Here is a video we created for LeadID, (now Jornaya) where we depicted the unscrupulous lead sellers that LeadID is designed to stamp out.
This is a bit touchy, because denigrating your competitors is difficult to do gracefully. One of the classic examples of this genre is the Mac vs. PC ads, which you can sample below. The reason they work is that PC, played by John Hodgman, is such a sympathetic and lovable character. It is PC, not the Mac, that truly wins our hearts, even as the advantages of the Mac are made clear.
Sometimes a testimonial from a figure of authority – perhaps a celebrity – can be helpful in giving credence to the benefits of a product. And if you don’t have an actual celebrity, perhaps you can invent one – consider Dos Equis and the World’s Most Interesting Man. Or you could pull a figure of authority out of history, like we did with this video we made for Know Better Bread.
Other Third Party
We are social animals. We want to please, romance, captivate, and thrill those around us, whether it be lovers, potential lovers, family, friends, or a peer group. This is probably the least common option, because it is a bit indirect. But sometimes a story that talks about what the product does for others can be very effective – like this ad for Passat.