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David Lynch speaking in Washington D.C.
Image via Wikipedia

Video is more efficient in creating emotional attachment than text – if done right. I saw this effect in a course in IDC Media School about online storytelling, which I (along with two amazingly talented lecturers, Noa Morag and Roni Abolafya) delivered last semester.

In the course, the students wrote dramatic stories, that were told via social media tools such as fictitious blogs, Facebook profiles, vlogs, and Twitter.

For example, one story portrayed a quest of an adopted son to find his biological mother. This emotional and strong story was told through his blog, vlog and Facebook profile.

Another story was more of a David Lynch style plot, about a guy who is being stalked, videotaped and harrassed by an unknown person, only to reveal that it was a girl he knows:

Though not intended as a main goal, the course provided an insight to effective emotion trigger in the online world.

One of the most interesting cases was the reactions that vlog post received. In the first story, the students produced personal short vlog where the kid told his side of the story. The video segments in some cases received more responses and views than text posts in the blog. Considering that text is easier to consume, this fact shows that at least in emotional setting, video is stronger than text.

We also learned that if video is done right it increases viewers involvement. But done right doesn’t necessarily mean high production value. Our kid’s vlog was done with a webcam and still generated a lot of reaction. It seems that a strong correlation between the story line and the production level is more important than the video quality per se. I believe that if some of the videos where better produced it would have harmed the authenticity of the stories – leading directly to a lower emotional attachment.

Martin Lindstorm, the marketing guru, talks a lot about brands value over time. In his book, Brand Sense, he describes how additional senses affect the emotional reactions to brands. Video, with its moving images and sound is by far more effective than text in creating this attachment.

However, as online video search and interactivity are legging behind text based technologies (such as Google and hyperlinks), smart marketers and storytellers should integrate video in a wider multimedia and multi platform strategy.

This post is dedicated to Yaniv Golan. See here why…

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