The power of video storytelling

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Last Thursday, March 6, 2014, as part of my local professional affiliation, I had the opportunity to participate in a webinar on Emerging Best Practices & Secrets for Boosting Web Video Visibility, presented by PR University. Here’s a recap of some of main points on video storytelling.

Laurent Bridenne Video Lead at Cisco shared some interesting data on future online video trends:

  • It would take an individual over 5 million years to watch the amount of video that will cross global IP networks each month in 2017. Every second, nearly a million minutes of video content will cross the network in 2017.
  • Globally, consumer Internet video traffic will be 69 percent of all consumer Internet traffic in 2017, up from 57 percent in 2012.
  • The ratio of Internet video viewing to TV doubled in 2012. Internet video to TV will continue to grow at a rapid pace, increasing fivefold by 2017.
  • Online video audiences are on the rise and expected to double by 2016.
  • YouTube reaches more US adults aged 18-24 than any cable network.
  • Consumers are watching video in more locations and across more channels.
  • Video content is more likely to be watched and shared than other kind of content.

From these insights, it is clear is that as communication professionals, we will begin relying more and more on video to tell our brand stories.

This leads to the question – How do we create the kind of videos that resonate with the target audience? Lou Hoffman, CEO of The Hoffman Agency offered the answer.

Screen Shot 2014-03-12 at 9.53.25 AM

Hoffman’s tips:

  • Contrast: Frame the story vignette for contrast.
  • Anecdotes: Can add texture to your video, so leverage them.
  • Use words and visuals that are not usually used in your industry.
  • Don’t use the predictable challenge/solution case study in your videos.

He showcased the Budweiser Puppy love commercial as a great example of good storytelling. In case you’ve not yet seen it, take a look.

Screen Shot 2014-03-12 at 1.52.51 PM

Learnings from Puppy Love

  • Context: is key to giving meaning to the video’s payoff.
  • Focus: keep it simple, so keep focus in character development
  • Outward perspective: Think about audience NOT your product.

Here’s more on the Puppy Love video and the strategic power of storytelling from Harvard Business Review.


4 Comments on “The power of video storytelling”

  1. Hi Cronkite Fellows,

    I’m glad you found the webinar on video storytelling useful.

    If it’s not too much trouble, I would value you linking my name back to my storytelling blog at Thanks.



    P.S. Hope you won’t hold it against me that I attended UofA.

  2. Hi Lou,
    Thanks so much for reaching out. I’ve linked back to your storytelling blog, as requested (no trouble at all). Thank you for sharing your knowledge. I really learnt so much from your presentation. So just for that, I won’t hold your UoA alum status against you.

    Best regards,

  3. I would never have suspected quite how much video really is on the Internet today already. It’s amazing to me how quickly such a new medium like the Internet has already taken over the modern world completely.

    I also thought it was interesting that the “classic story arc” diagram points out that all the stuff at the beginning is “bad” up until the climax. I don’t know much about videography, but I am surprised that that model is considered lesser.

    I hope you had a great time learning, and thanks for sharing with all of us!

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