By Jeffrey Hedquist
No one wants to be pitched a product or service by a spokesperson, but tell us a story and we might listen, especially if you’re a voice we trust – a voice of authority.
We respond to stories. We tend to believe stories that are told by someone we trust or respect - an authority, an expert, someone with experience with a product or service. The most effective storyteller is often a peer, someone who has been in our shoes, faced our challenges and overcome them, maybe with the help of the advertiser.
User testimonial stories in the words and voices of actual customers are one way to make this work in commercials. Another approach you as commercial creator can take is talk to several users, record their experiences, or at least take notes. Soon, you will start to see a pattern; you’ll get an understanding of the kind of person who your client has successfully connected with.
That’s whom your client’s intended audience would accept advice from. Combine those responses into a story, a conversation, a bit of advice from the potential customer’s peer.
The person who tells the story in the commercial doesn’t have to be a celebrity, or a certified expert. If the story you craft is authentic (and it will be if you captured the essence of your interviews), it will resonate with the audience and fly beneath their skeptical radar.
When you tell the audience a story from that person’s point of view, it mirrors them.
Let’s say a prime user of your client’s product or service is someone who really wants to have a clean house, despite all the activity that goes on in it, and her lack of time to do the work herself.
Craft a story with someone explaining how your client’s service has helped keep a clean house in the midst of the chaos - a story told by someone who could be a peer of the target audience. The commercial is then perceived not as a sale pitch, but as useful advice, which builds trust.
It’s a story of interest that benefits the listener, rather than an attempt to make a sale.
Stories of transformation or success from an authority figure - an official, an expert, or most likely a peer, is preferable to and often more effective than a pitch from anyone.
Jeffrey Hedquist encourages you try this technique. Email
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