My presentation at Let's talk Visual Storytelling - Content Marketing Meetup over at Orange Grove Athens. As always as you know I am dyslexic don't kill me if a word is missing or something :-) All the info, videos, pictures are copied and mashed up together from the internet. If something is yours and you want me to take it down let me know. You can find all the sources/ references and all the videos I used in the presentation at the last slide! Happy Reading
An Attempt To Define Some Key Visual Storytelling Trends That Are Shaping The Future Of Communication
to define Some Key
Trends That are
Shaping The Future
Who Am I?
You can find me online playing.
During the day I am the mANAGING DIRECTOR OF AVAKON+
BUT MOST PEOPLe in the industry know me as a “strategist”
something i also teach at the European communication institute
Visual storytelling is one of the most powerful forms
of communication in existence today.
From films and virtual reality experiences to interactive games and data visualisations,
visual stories are revolutionising ….
the way we persuade audiences with our messages.
While brands and marketers have generally lagged behind filmmakers
and the media in the visual storytelling department,
this is rapidly becoming a thing of the past
as marketing shifts closer and closer
from “interrupting what people are interested
into becoming what people are interested in,”
the Internet of Things and wearable tech will take us closer to a hyper connected world
visual storytelling will be all around us
But what does the future of storytelling
look like? How will technology change
the way we tell stories?
For starters, the line between fiction and reality will continue
to blur, as will the borders separating producer of the story
and user; story and game; entertainment and advertising…
But before we dive into SOME KEY trends that will Probably affect the future of all
communication fields, let’s first take a look at what makes visual storytelling –
such a timeless and indispensable tool for advertisers and marketers
Have you ever seen a movie and said,
‘’Oh crap, that person looks
deceitful’’ or ‘’I think he is the killer’’?
To put it simply, if you understand and follow what you see
without anything being said you have visually understood the story.
Humans are not rational creatures. Strong emotions, not information, are what drive our decisions.
When presented with “factual” information alone, only a small part of our brain responds.
Wrapping information in a visual story can dramatically change
how we process and interpret that same information.
Visuals don’t just
impact our memories,
they may actually
influence our decision
“Facts bore, stories sell” is a
and the truth is that our
brains are wired in this way
Some 2,8 million years ago.
basically we can not escape falling in love
with visual storytelling
The story of visual
with our ancestors
painting figures on walls,
with the desire to
The artwork was created using stones
to carve out the figures and marked
the beginning of an art form
with unlimited potential.
During 1999 Shigetaka Kurita created a new visual language Emojis, which opened up the lines of
communication for people by removing the language barrier and encouraging cross-cultural communication.
and things around visual storytelling completely exploded
with the fastest growing high visual social networks such as instagram, snapchat,
facebook, youtube, tumblr, Pinterest…
Then after after after a few years around
1995 the Internet is born
IT DID NOT ONLY OFFER POSSIBILITIES FOR Commercial use,
BUT ALSO unlimited possibilities for visual storytelling
Visual storytelling works
from brands to babies.
It has always worked for almost any kind of audience since ages
but in this age of digital excess, it’s working like never before.
Our brains are made for looking,
and if your content/visual marketing and brand is not trying
to take advantage of our brains constant craving for new visual
information, then it is missing out on one of the best ways
to tap straight into peoples’ heads.
Visuals are memorable and effective,
because they help people process, understand, and retain more information more quickly.
below some Content Marketing Statistics
That Will Wake You up
and help you understand even more the growing power
and value of visual content
a first impression
in mere 50
The average person
gets distracted in
8 seconds, though a
mere 2.8 seconds is
enough to distract
81% of people only skim
the content they read
online. the average
user reads at most 20
to 28% of words
It is estimated that
by the end of 2018
84% of ALL
will be visual
By the end of 2018 79% of
internet traffic will be
Posts that `
include images produce 650%
than text-only posts.
People are 85% more
likely to buy a product
a product video.
user base has grown
by 64%, Tumblr’s 12o%
and Pinterest by 111%
over 8 billion
video views daily
20% is all the
Visual Storytelling happen
with just about any kind of visuals.
A short documentary, a 7 sec video, a meme, a photograph,
an infographic, a carousel ad, an instagram story, an email …
They all can tell your story.
In order to make VISUAL storytelling work for your brand,
according to Ernesto Olivares (with whom I seem to agree upon)
they are 10 tried and true principles.
1. Show, don’t tell
Probably the oldest and most important
unwritten rule in film industry says that
you shouldn’t rely much on words to
tell your story. In fact, you should rely on them
as less as possible.The one brilliant example to
understand this are the examples of the silent era:
Talking a lot is boring, but talking a lot about
yourself is even more boring. So let the visuals do
the talking. Show the benefits of your
product, don’t tell people about them.
Context and, more particularly, hidden context,
is the stuff that makes cinema lovers talk about
the greatest movies for hours. The great thing is,
we can very easily play with our audience’s assumptions, and
turn them upside down.The Sixth Sense was famous for playing
with context. Some characters weren’t what they seemed to
be, and that’s what made it a great movie.
When it comes to brands, context can be the
colors you choose, the fonts you use, your Instagram filters,
or the very types of content you share with your followers.
They all set the expectations of your audience, so choose
them wisely AND KEEP SURPRISING THEM
3. Show people
The truth is that we all here relate better
to other people, than to bacteria. And we
certainly relate better to people than to a
brand or business.
So don’t tell the story of your business, but the story
of the people behind it. You, your employees, your
customers. Make your brand, more
approachable, more down to earth!
Why is Marty McFly the hero
in Back To the Future, instead of Doc?
Maybe because none of us here know about nuclear
physics but most of know an experience of playing
a guitar, running around with a skateboard
or dating a girl.
4. Be personal,
Share your true story and you’ll be setting
yourself apart from all the other brands
out there. They can’t share that same story, because
they are not you.As a general rule, true stories are
powerful, because they’re human; they happened to
someone like you and me.
If there’s a company that’s perceived by most
as being 100% technology, that’s Google. Its
better know landmark is a search algorithm
— there’s Nothing more robotic and less human than
that! But BACK IN 2014 IT TRIED TO APPEAR MORE HUMAN
5. Show conflict
Conflict is the force that drives a story.
No conflict, no story.
Conflict happens whenever someone wants or needs
something and must fight for it. This ‘something’ can be a
lot of things: an object, love, survival, etc.
Conflict is almost present in every film.
Conflict sparks interest. If we take this to brand
storytelling, customers won’t be interested in your story,
if it isn’t relevant to a ‘conflict’ or problem they are
struggling with. LACTA IS CONSTANTLY UTILISING
THE CONFLICT OF LOVE AND CONSTANTLY WINS GLOBALS AWARDS
One of the rules of a good story is to take
the audience to a hidden place that they
don’t get to see everyday.
Raiders of The Lost Ark, Jurassic world, Avengers,
The Jungle Book, Interstellar, STAR WARS etc… Do these
blockbuster movie titles tell you something?
All these movies show a promise that they are going
to take you to unexplored territory.
How can a brand or an online business use
this to its advantage?It’s really easy. Go behind
the scenes, show your customers what they don’t
normally see, SHOW THEM SOMETHING UNIQUE AND TOTALY
6. Reveal hidden
Don’t get lost on the details.
Do you know when people tell stories that seem to
ramble forever and never lead to anything, boring the
hell out of whoever’s listening?A visual story is the same
(if not worse). Too many details, and you lose your
audience attention. People are busy and exposed to
way too much information.
So tell them where to focus, right and clear.
KISSS (Keep It Short and Sweet, Stupid)
8. Keep Moving!
Stories flow. Your images needs to move.
VISUAL Stories need some sort of timeline,
a sense of going from place A to place B.
This is called story arc, or character arc (whenever a
character undergoes a transformation), and the best
way to depict this is with movement.
In visual storytelling, lack of movement
equals lack of conflict that translates
to a lack of interest FROM THE audience
9. Don’t be obvious
We are exposed to hundreds of stories
everyday, so the ones that stick are the ones
that don’t follow the obvious path. One of the
famous Pixar rules of storytelling goes to great lengths
to demonstrate you should avoid the obvious, in order to
surprise and engage your audience: Try to tell your visual
story in the most unique manner..be like Inception …be like
Be the one brand that always surprise its
followers or customers. Use visuals,
and storytelling, in a way no one else is doing.
AND Your story, your name, will stick.
10. Teach something
Carry a message. Give a lesson. TAKE A stand.
Don’t be bland.Every marketing effort carries a message,
that of your brand or business. Products services are the
same but your story could be different it could BE a
valuable lesson to someone. when humans started putting
together stories ,they did it to teach some important life
The Lego Movie has been often cited as the
ultimate example of brand marketing done
right. And it’s extremely effective, not because it shows
the product of the brand, but because it conveys a message,
one that is in tune with the brand’s mission:
everyone can build something!! AND THIS IS WHAT IT
WANTS TO TEACH US AS A BRAND.
ENDING here are five visual storytelling trends
THAT WILL PROBABLY IMPACT
ALL COMMUNICATION FIELDS IN THE NEAR FUTURE!
Audiences’ appetites for captivating stories is
growing insatiable–so much so that they don’t
want to see them end.
Just take a look at the recent trend in rebooting classic
movies and hit TV shows and the nostalgia that leads movie studios
to make a profit off of these–even if they’re rarely as good as the
In line with this demand, visual stories will
increasingly run parallel to our real lives. This
means that stories will not only occur in real-time, they will also
happen 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
In the middle of your lunch, you might receive a visual notification
from this parallel story world stating that your character’s
town IN THE GAME OF THRONES SPINOFF IS BEING DESTROYED BY A DRAGON
Did you know that Homer Simpson is constantly amusing his 2.23
2. Hyperreal Storytelling
The future of visual storytelling will not only follow a 24/7 cycle;
it will also appear more real than reality itself.
Technologies such as virtual and augmented reality are allowing us to create immersive stories
that appeal to several of the five senses.Some of these experiences are so authentic that they have
the power to fool the mind and body into reacting as if living through the real thing.
If you think this is too far down the road to think about, take a look at Lucasfilm’s next virtual
reality movie announced in 2016 but still waiting for it to appear about Darth Vader.
Set within the Star Wars universe, the movie will allow participants to walk around, manipulate
objects, touch characters and even influence the outcome of the story
3. Connective Storytelling
Audiences who grew up with the Internet don’t only crave interactive experiences–
rather than passive spectatorship–they also want to connect with other people,
whether real or fictitious.
in the future of VISUAL storytelling,
it won’t be enough for us to connect with characters emotionally
we will also be able to walk a mile in their shoes.
In the VR experience called “Nerve,” 2016 MOVIE for example, users can put themselves in a movie character’s shoes
and experience what it’s like to ride a skateboard while holding onto a police car
4. Social Impact
visual storytelling of the future will also be used
to increase empathy for others and raise funds for social causes.
Just like Project Syria, there are already dozens of VR experiences that aim
to increase awareness of of those who are less fortunate.
From living as a homeless person to suffering from Parkinson’s disease,
these VR experiences are paving the way for storytelling
that has an actual impact on the real world.
5. Brand Storytelling
When it comes to crafting unique virtual reality experiences, brands are not far behind
filmmakers ! IKEA, for example, launched this VR experience that allowed users to walk around
and interact with a virtual kitchen back in 2016 Consumers can open drawers, move objects,
change the look and feel of the kitchen and even explore the space
from the point of view of a child.
Red Bull also created this immersive flying experience
which allows participants to enjoy a wild, realistic air race simulation.
the trend is clear:
The stories of the future will not only become more visual, they will
empower us to communicate more vividly than ever through alternate
worlds and characters so expect that they will blur the lines between
fact and fiction, between natural realities and invented ones.
What is “reality” after all?