You’re familiar with stream of consciousness because it’s the way we think. Instead of writing a commercial that sounds like a commercial, create one that sounds like the thinking process – jumping without pause from one observation or reflection to the next.
This kind of storytelling is usually first-person narration – a kind of Interior monologue that goes beyond rational thought, to include associations, impressions, and fragments. It’s essentially one long run-on sentence. You can also create it from second person point of view.
It’s a bit unexpected and listeners may be surprised, intrigued; may even recognize it as a series of thought patterns like their own.
Steps: Visit your client’s business, call them, or open their web site. Record your impressions and any random thoughts you may have. The best way to write a stream of consciousness story is to “talk” it into any recording device. Then transcribe, edit, but try not to mold it into a typical commercial format. Its power to draw the listener in is in its spontaneity, in the raw experience of the person portrayed.
Example: That little annoying twinge in my mouth – it’s now speaking to me daily, reminding me what I hate to be reminded of – the trip – the trip to the chair in the white sterile room with the stainless steel instruments of torture and pain – but this time was going to be different because I was going to Dr. Ben – Dr. Ben of the reputation for pain-free dentistry, for understanding the fear and trepidation of people like me who long for relief, but want the process of relief to be a relief, and so I arrive and am placed in the care of his staff who make this part of the adventure smooth and comforting, and finally Dr. Ben who, with a calm smile and a bazillion years of experience and that reputation, I remind myself again, that reputation for dentistry without – you know, the “P” word, sits me down and I open my mouth, and I think “I’m gonna be OK,” I somehow know it, and this time I’m right. In no time, I’m fixed and sort of happy – I mean as happy as you can be in a dentist’s office, and I’m on my way feeling relieved, and wearing a silly smile – maybe it’s the Novocain – anyway, thank you Dr. Ben! If this were a commercial I’d tell people to look for you in the white pages.
Example: Oh it’s just a slice of key lime pie, but the fresh crisp bite of citrus with the sultry sweetness of the tropics and the wicker and the brass lamps, and the parrots, and the “Jimmie Buffet are you there?” music and I’m on the beach with the sand between my toes and the warm surf and not a care in the world, just me and my baby, and a tiny catamaran way off on the turquoise horizon and… oh yeah, I’m at La Tropicale – a downtown restaurant that’ll take you somewhere else. Have you tried their key lime pie?
Now when you produce this streaming story, don’t go all “announcer.” This is just one real person talking to him/herself, almost monotone, not selling. Your audience is eavesdropping, and later… dropping some cash into your client’s coffers.
© 1997-2013 Hedquist Productions, Inc. All rights reserved.