TV Ad Needs The Quality Of Good TV: Strong Storytelling

Does the advertising of your TV content -- a commercial, a TV program - have any “curious empathy”?

Getting “empathy” isn’t easy. You need people telling stories -- personal stories -- to do this. And not just for a few seconds.

Former Disney executive Rob Maigret launched Popularium, a site written by people about their relationships with products. Essentially, it is advertising coming from consumers’ own voices.

Maigret tellsForbes about “empathy”: “We believe we can achieve that with the right 1,000 words or 2 minutes of video.” Seems he is looking for a “honest” voice.

Now think about this might translate to traditional advertising on TV.  Is it just the same brand-oriented, teasing stuff pushing consumers to get more information -- on digital platforms -- about products/services?



As with anything in media or video, it’s about the storytelling. Good storytelling brings us empathy. If you can empathize, or perhaps just ‘like’ a character on a prime-time TV show, that’s enough. The key then -- for advertising -- is choosing the right 1,000 words or video content.

And once you have that, says Maigret, you’re in. You’ll have more “patience” in this crazy, real-time, rush of ever-changing media content. You can watch 20 hours straight of “Game of Thrones” with no problem.

But in 30-seconds -- as in a TV commercial -- that’s tougher.

TV viewers and consumers will put up with characters they like on TV --- the good and the bad, the vague -- because they have empathy for the character. Through good storytelling, they are hooked.

Think about how to translate this to TV advertising, where you don’t just sell the the good, but the whole story -- the bad, the I’m-not-sure-where-this-is-going-content.

If you are a marketer, future TV advertising will depend on real storytelling -- warts and all. Can you handle more complex -- sometimes not perfect -- messaging?

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