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What You Can Learn About Nonprofit Storytelling in TV Commercials

Storytelling ConceptYou can discover so much about powerful storytelling in TV commercials. From stealing your attention right away to creating a strong emotional response in a matter of seconds or minutes to communicating both an understandable and actionable message, TV commercials are reimagining the way we tell stories, according to thecoalshed. Below are some ‘lessons’ you can pick up from storytelling in TV commercials.

Teasing the Audience

Several memorable commercials become the hit that they are because they tease and make their audience think. A good example is a commercial from Pfizer, wherein the protagonist is depicted vandalising walls with spray paint. All throughout the scene, the audiences are unable to see what, exactly, the protagonist is doing. This sense of anticipation ensures that the captive audience won’t be flipping to another channel until the big reveal.

Keeping the Punch Line Secret until the Very Last Moment

Some ads have the power to make the audience wonder how the ad will end and this is the secret to keeping viewer interest. One Pepsi commercial depicts a boy purchasing several Coke beverages in a vending machine, only to set it on the ground. It is only at the conclusion of the ritual that the audience fully understands the meaning to his baffling actions — and the punch line is as irreverent as it is clever.

Telling a Good Story

It is important to note that both TV ads start one emotional state and then end with another. In the case of Pfizer, it starts with despair, similar to the experience of a sick patient and concludes with hope and redemption. The Pepsi commercial, on the other hand, highlighted human ingenuity when trying to achieve a goal. Making the audience feel a spectrum of emotions all within the time limit of a commercial ad can be hard, but the above examples that it isn’t impossible.

Given the limited timeframe of commercials, it is vital to summarise a good story by introducing the character, setting problems in their way, showing how they overcome the problem and forming an emotional attachment throughout the entire commercial. The solution to the character’s problem should be the brand that you want to promote.

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