Sto­ry­telling magic is no mys­tery; it’s science. Pure Pro­duc­tions’ Jamie Mcken­zie clues us in to the chem­istry be­hind a good story, and how to trans­late that to the video con­tent you cre­ate.

New Zealand Marketing - - Contents -

An­drew Lewis on why mar­keters need to look, rather than just ask.

There’s no doubt that online video is on the rise. We’re con­sum­ing more of it than ever be­fore, and ac­cord­ing to e-mar­keter, mo­bile video ad rev­enue is set to dou­ble to US$12.71 bil­lion in 2016. Con­sumers love video, and mar­keters love video’s pos­si­bil­i­ties.

But to un­der­stand how to re­ally har­ness the power of video, it’s worth un­der­stand­ing why we love it so much; what, ex­actly, makes it so com­pelling. Jamie Mcken­zie, ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer at Pure Pro­duc­tions – a joint video pro­duc­tion and mar­ket­ing com­pany – talks us through it.


“Brains aren’t wired to con­nect with any old story; they’re wired to con­nect with com­pelling sto­ries,” Mcken­zie says. There are three ways he points to in which sto­ry­telling af­fects the brain: first, as Prince­ton neu­ro­sci­en­tists found in 2010, neu­ral cou­pling ac­ti­vates parts of the brain that cause lis­ten­ers to re­late a story to their own ideas and ex­pe­ri­ences.

Sec­ond, the brain re­leases dopamine, a neu­ro­trans­mit­ter that makes us feel good, and makes it eas­ier to re­mem­ber the story with clar­ity and ac­cu­racy. Third and fi­nally, the brain pro­cesses sto­ry­telling by en­gag­ing mul­ti­ple ar­eas of the brain – in­clud­ing the mo­tor, frontal and sen­sory cor­texes – as op­posed to pro­cess­ing facts, which en­gages just two ar­eas of the brain.

“These pro­cesses help ex­plain why sto­ry­telling is so pow­er­ful,” says Mcken­zie. “And we al­ready know video is a great sto­ry­telling medium. The dif­fer­ence is that now, with online video, your au­di­ence can share your sto­ries much faster and fur­ther.”


Mcken­zie cites two im­por­tant parts of the process to cre­at­ing com­pelling, en­gag­ing con­tent. First; the mes­sage – the core of what you want the video to say. “The more suc­cinct the mes­sage, the more en­gag­ing the video will be. It shouldn’t be com­pli­cated. The mes­sage is the core of what you want the viewer to be left with long af­ter they have fin­ished watch­ing.”

The sec­ond el­e­ment is the story. “In a nut­shell, it’s what’s wrapped around the mes­sage to make it be­liev­able and to en­tice the viewer to stick around for the video’s en­tirety. The story should pow­er­fully drive the emo­tions you wish the au­di­ence to feel.”


While a viewer’s re­ac­tion to emo­tion­ally com­pelling con­tent is straight science, evok­ing those emo­tions is an art that re­lies on an abil­ity to craft both mes­sage and story through prac­ticed film­mak­ing tech­niques.

“We’ve been craft­ing mes­sages and telling com­pelling sto­ries for over a decade,” says Mcken­zie. “We’ve based our work on one sim­ple phi­los­o­phy from day one: do great work.”

For more in­for­ma­tion about cre­at­ing emo­tion­ally com­pelling video for your brand, please con­tact jamie@pure­pro­duc­

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