Saturday, November 20, 2010

Elevator Pitch: Speed Dating Signification

This essay is an excerpt from a longer article on Story/Message Theory, originally published November 14, 2010. To read the original article in full, click the link. Links to other excerpts follow at the conclusion of this entry.


5th Floor: By striatic
A 15-second commercial is exactly as long as what also commonly call a 'Fifteen Second Pitch' or 'Elevator Pitch'. As it happens, a pitch is not designed to be a story, because pitcher assumes 'pitchee' doesn't have time and perhaps lacks interest in being told a Story. It is simply a preamble to a Story, designed to pique interest. And one only need look at Hollywood, Wall Street and Silicon Valley to find evidence that well designed pitches can easily grow into million and billion dollar stories.

One might thus consider that because traditional ads in the modern world can't be relied on to motivate consumers to action (because they're too easy to ignore), it may be that a Message-Lead/Narrative-Follow will prove to be an exponentially more effective advertising model than the traditional construction (at this time).

If this sounds conventional enough, the convention has been to provide context first (Narrative), followed by Message, in hopes that a viewer will actually pay attention to the Narrative long enough to have the Message engraved into their awareness. Unfortunately, given choice, this is not the way modern audiences behave. And that's why movies themselves –full length feature narratives– are sold to audiences with a pitch, in the form of a teaser or trailer that guarantees at least one of several things:
  • Fear
  • Laughs
  • Hope
  • Tears
  • Catharsis
  • A moving experience
And the promise that you will have a good time.

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Articles in this series:

Story/Message Theory (Original full length article)
What is a Story?
The Parable/Fable Framework as Story Algorithm
The Story/Message Theory Construct
So It Goes: Vonnegut's Law
The Power of Effective Messaging
Create Engagement with Compelling Signification
Elevator Pitch: Speed Dating Signification
Static Symbolic Accentuating Triggers
Story is Dead
Leading with Message Signification
Non Linear Cross Platform Transmedia Storytelling
Mythology and Messaging

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