Visual Storytelling Innovation Friday September 28, 2012
A Picture’s Worth 1,000 Words• Pictures can tell a story in a more compelling, more engaging way than words can• Visuals can deliver the message faster than copy• There’s something to be said for the quality of the picture Don’t believe me…
Little Red Riding Hood (Version 1) nce upon a time there was a young girl who lived with her mother. One day, her mother presented her with a beautiful red riding cape and hood and thelittle girl loved the coat and hood so much, she never took them off. Soon, she was given the nickname Little Red Riding Hood. Little Red Riding Hood and hermother lived in a small village and Little Red’s grandmother lived in the woods next to their village. One day, Little Red Riding Hood’s mother called her into thekitchen and told her that her grandmother was very sick. She asked Little Red Riding Hood to visit her grandmother and bring her a basket of goodies. Little RedRiding Hood, being very precocious and naïve to the dangers of the forest, happily agreed. As long as she could wear her red cloak of course. Her mother packedher basket, put her cloak on, gave her a kiss on the forehead and sent Little Red Riding Hood into the forest to go and visit her grandmother’s cottage. Little RedRiding Hood skipped along, singing and humming and commenting on everything she saw as she was passing it. All of the commotion naturally stirred the creaturesof the forest, including the Big Bad Wolf. Now, the Big Bad Wolf had lived in the forest all his life. He was devious, but unfortunately not very clever and almostalways hungry. At first, the noise and the smell of the goodies intended for grandmother drew the wolf towards Little Red Riding Hood. Once he saw the happy, littlegirl though, she looked much more appetizing than a basket of goodies. However, the Big Bad Wolf, though not that clever, was smart enough. He knew if he ateLittle Red so close to the village, the villagers would come after him. So, instead, he slunk up to the little girl and started talking to her, trying to act as nice aspossible to gain her trust. “Good morning,” said the Big Bad Wolf politely. “Good morning!” answered the enthusiastic Little Red Riding Hood, blissfully unaware ofany danger. “What are you doing in the forest all by yourself little one?” asked the wolf. “Don’t you know the forest can be a dangerous place?” “I’m not scared!”insisted Little Red Riding Hood, “My mother sent me to deliver these goodies to my grandmother.” The wolf fought back licking his lips. “Is your grandmother the onewho lives in the cottage by the river?” he asked. Little Red Riding Hood nodded, smiling. “Well, then I know your grandmother!” The Big Bad wolf announced.“Yes, lovely woman. She’s a dear friend of mine.” Little Red, delighted to have met a friend of her grandmother’s, said, “Really? Wonderful! So nice to meet you.”The sly wolf grinned to himself, shocked that this little girl was believing his act so foolishly. “You know,” the wolf said, “Your grandmother loves wildflowers. Infact, why don’t you pick some before you go meet her?” Little Red Riding Hood thought for a moment and then stooped down and started picking the flowers by thepath. “Thanks Mr. Wolf,” she said. The wolf smiled and crept away, eager to get to grandmother’s house first and ambush Little Red Riding Hood. After the wolf hadalready left, a woodcutter came along and saw Little Red picking flowers by the path. “Good morning,” the woodcutter said. “Good morning,” said Little Red. “Whatare you doing little one?” The woodcutter asked. “I’m off to visit my grandmother,” Little Red announced. “Well be careful,” said the woodcutter, “There’s a Big BadWolf that lives in this forest.” Little Red Riding Hood thanked the woodcutter for warning her and resumed her flower picking while the woodcutter continued alongthe path. Meanwhile the wolf had reached grandmother’s house, stuffed poor, sick grandmother in a cupboard, put on her clothes and cap and got into her bed.Soon he heard Little Red Riding Hood’s humming get closer, and drew the covers around himself. Little Red Riding Hood walked into her grandmother’s house andsaw the wolf in her bed and immediately thought the wolf was her grandmother. “Little Red Riding Hood,” the wolf said, trying to sound like her grandmother. “Whata surprise, I’m so glad you came to visit.” “Grandmother!” Little Red exclaimed. “What big eyes you have.” “All the better to see you with my dear,” the wolfanswered, sweetly. “And, grandmother, what big furry ears you have…” Little Red said, still not putting two and two together. “All the better to hear you with mydear.” “And grandmother, what big teeth you have!” Little Red finally caught on. “All the better to EAT you with my dear,” snarled the wolf who jumped out of bed andstarted chasing Little Red around the cottage. The woodcutter, not too far away, heard the ruckus and ran to the cottage. He brought his shotgun and once the wolfsaw the gun, he ran out of the cottage, never to be seen in the woods again. Together, the woodcutter and Little Red Riding Hood got her grandmother out of thecupboard and then, Little Red Riding Hood and her grandmother ate all of the goodies. And Little Red Riding Hood learned a valuable lesson: never talk tostrangers. And they all lived happily everafter. Except for the wolf.
Little Red Riding Hood (Version 3) Illustrations by Trina Schart Hyman
Why does this matter to me? Digital platforms are becomingmore visual, giving digital marketersan excellent opportunity to tell their brand’s story.
Digital Visual Statistics• Pinterest is the 3rd most popular social media site, based on web traffic to the platform according to ComScore.• On Tumblr, 42% of posts are pictures according to SimplyMeasure and M Booth study.• The same study also found that Facebook pictures are like 2x more than text posts.• The SimplyMeasure and M Booth study also states that Pinterest refers more traffic to brand websites than Twitter, StumbleUpon, LinkedIn and Google+.• Twitter rolled out their new, visual layout design that now includes a feature photo similar to Facebook’s cover photo.• Even the new Myspace redesign is predominantly visual. Huffington Post says the look “reminds them of Pinterest, with emphasis on musicians.”
Let Me Explain With Pictures! Infographic by M Booth and SimplyMeasure. Found on Mashable.
Theories on Using Visuals• Showcase your brand’s fans• Use images that relate to your brand• If you have to upload pictures of products/logos do it creatively• Use pictures to illustrate your call to actions
Oreo Oreo introduced “The Daily Twist” an initiative that showcases the product (i.e. the cookie) in creative ways that relate to current events. The images were then relevant and timely and generated media attention and word of mouth. The Oreo example is a great example of how a well thought out, visual digital strategy can lead to media impressions and consumer awareness of a product.
SharpieSharpie has taken the concept ofincorporating consumers into theirvisual strategies to the extreme. Infact, Sharpie’s strong visual strategyis to let the fans create the imagesthemselves and Sharpie will post theartwork to their many digital assets.By doing this, Sharpie also delivers abrand message that says Sharpiesare a visual and creative tool. Theirmethod also drives sales becauseconsumers are going out to buy themarkers to create their own artwork.
Starbucks Starbucks invests in creating and sharing pictures that display their product subtly. The Starbucks visual strategy revolves around the idea of setting a mood, and how a Starbucks drink can be the perfect complement to a perfect experience, like a day at the lake or a fall afternoon. Starbucks also uses popular picture platforms such as Pinterest and Instagram to their full potential in order to build a visual, presence.
Thought Starters• Are brands turning to ad agencies to handle their social media strategies because of their production capabilities?• Though visuals may be the way to grab your customer’s attention, how do you take it a step further and use pictures to increase sales?• Social commerce and visuals go hand in hand, but though there’s evidence that Pinterest, Facebook, etc. drive people to a website, there’s still debate if those consumers are actually buying the product. Thoughts?• Are visuals best used in B2C digital strategies? What are some ways to include visuals in a B2B social media strategy?