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How to Script a Marketing Video Using Structural Models

Rather than arbitrarily creating a story from scratch for your marketing video, you can use simple structural models to integrate the message with the characters and create a script concept.

In all models, a touch of humor goes a long way toward making the story in the video entertaining and memorable. Many professional comedy writers use one of these two conceptual approaches to creating comedy:

  • Put a silly person in a sane situation.

  • Put a sane person in a silly situation.

Using either of these models boosts the level of humor and entertainment in your video.

Here are three simple concept models you can combine with the conceptual approaches to brainstorm ideas:

  • Educational, or wrong way/right way: (This model may stir memories of the "Goofus and Gallant" cartoon from Highlights magazine, which, depending on your age, you may have read while in the dentist's waiting room.) The video starts by showing the pain of someone performing a task incorrectly (the wrong way), and then it demonstrates why doing it the right way can make the result much better.

    You can enhance this model by using an educational film style from the 1950s and by adding effects such as an old-film look and exaggerated acting to make the video fun and unique. This concept works well in making internal videos when you need simply to demonstrate a task and the consequences of not doing it properly.

  • Simple story with a “gotcha” moment: This model uses a series of short, detailed actions to tell a story, ultimately resulting in a “gotcha" moment of true surprise. To make the gotcha moment work, you must, as they say, "go big or go home." A little surprise likely has no effect, and the message is lost. Gotcha moments need to have catastrophic results or exaggerated outcomes.

    A long, slow build-up of normalcy and exposition in the beginning helps to make the gotcha moment stand out. Every scene should build intrigue by stimulating the viewer's curiosity.

  • Crazy pain / rational solution: This model focuses on the initial pain component by exaggerating it from the beginning. It differs from the simple story with a gotcha moment because the crazy behavior and exaggerations are apparent from the first or second scene of the video and because they build in every scene.

Any of these concepts can be an effective starting point for your video, and every one of them emphasizes a different aspect of the pain your prospects may feel.

Brainstorm all six variations of these conceptual models, and then you can compare and contrast to see which one has the most appeal and impact. In the best case, you have six ideas for marketing videos, and you may have enough to create a series.

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