By Jeffrey Hedquist
“I had no idea what it was like not knowing where your next meal was coming from until I volunteered to deliver for Meals On Wheels. I loved the experience and it led me to offering our delivery vehicles to pick up food bank donations for free.”
“I came this close to dying. At that moment, I realized I had to take charge of my own recovery, and now I help hundreds of people take responsibility for their own health care.”
“My divorce left me unprepared for dealing with finances, insurance, and the job market. I vowed to figure all this out and pass on what I learned so other women wouldn’t have to go through what I did.”
“When I discovered the joy of learning to play music and how it improved so many areas of my life, I decided to open a school for older adults to try playing music for the first time.”
Many advertising clients started businesses because of a personal crisis – overwhelming pain, frustration or problem. Some did it because of a discovery, breakthrough or surprising benefit. Capturing these personal stories can be a powerful way to create effective commercials.
Not every client will have a personal story like this, but a surprising number will if you probe. You have to ask.
When you uncover one and incorporate it into a commercial, walk the listener though the steps your client went through from pain to relief to teaching; from frustration, to searching, to trying many things, to discovery, to sharing with others.
Your client’s story could be about a way to change peoples’ lives or a unique way to stir fry vegetables, a new way to invest in real estate or a line of colorful knitted caps for babies. Each personal story is unique.
Lead your audience step-by step through the worst parts of the problem, which may be exactly what they’re experiencing, to how your client developed a solution.
By way of telling a compelling story, you’ve educated your audience about your client’s expertise, experience, training and personal involvement. You’ve given them a way to bond with your client.
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