In Hollywood, I am told, actors, directors and producers are always on the look out for compelling scripts that they can turn into great movies. They sometimes run through thousands of scripts a year in order to find ones that inter- est them. Now, some of these scripts can run into hundreds of pages so they have a choice of let- ting someone else filter what may be worthwhile or else read every- thing themselves. Neither option really makes much sense. So they started asking for a sum- mary of the plot to be put on the very first page.
This summary teaser would be very short indeed, sometimes only three sentences but enough for the reader to decide if it was worth reading. Now the same sort of summary can be made for anything creative: books, music, TV shows, photo- graphs, people, events etc. And the writing of these summaries became an art in itself. At some point, advertisers found that brands also needed these brief descriptive teasers to illustrate what the product was about. What they found was that there had to be something familiar in the offering but also something new.
Say a new shampoo for exam- ple: yes, it would wash hair as they all do but it also had to have a unique story that made it stand out as a purchase option for shop- pers to find it appealing. This iden- tifier could be that it was cheaper than any other shampoo or was a special shampoo for oily hair or that it had a special smell.
It’s these summaries, these sto- ries, these arguments that would enable the buyer to make a choice on if they should buy it or not when faced with a new product. And it’s through the story tell- ing and person who is telling it that the sale actu- ally takes place. Think about it, when faced with an unknown brand or product or per- son or movie or whatever, how do we make up our minds most of the time? It’s when we hear a compel- ling story from a trusted source.
Vehrnon Ibrahim, Full Service Broadcast Radio Consultant