Watch Out for that Falling Rock! Use Visual Storytelling and Metaphor

Why use metaphors in visual storytelling?

Easy – because they work! Riddle us this: which statement is more powerful, “I love using the new iPhone, it feels so advanced!” or “the new iPhone is the future, I’m in love!” 

Well, what do you think? That’s right! The second statement makes a much bigger impact because it takes something and equates it to something awe-inspiring or powerful. To tell great business stories, you should do this visually to have a bigger impact. 

How to Think of the Right Visual Metaphors

In a series of videos that we recently did for iTrade, a long time customer of ours, we used visual metaphors to help them find a highly creative way to showcase their new ordering platform. 

iTrade’s new platform does many revolutionary things. It allows store owners to track orders in real-time, shop for better prices on goods, and get real-time updates from drivers if there’s a delay. Their app felt like a world of transparency in and of itself.

So, we took iTrade’s innovation and created a 1980’s tron-esque, retro-futurism themed world of transparency for their new ad to live within.

Crafting a metaphor in business storytelling doesn’t have to be hard. Instead, a visual metaphor should be something that conveys a meaning you want viewers to relate to. In iTrade’s case, we wanted their new tech to seem futuristic and cutting-edge, so we made a setting that matched that idea. 

How to Tell a Business Story With a Visual Metaphor

Now you know what to look for when creating a metaphor. So, how do you execute it? 

Well, you can do this in a couple of ways. But let’s look at a few visual storytelling examples to get the gist of things.

First, you can drop your viewer directly into the thick of things with a fast-paced, relaxing, or other sensory-rich experience to drive home that something IS whatever you’re making it out to be. Think back to 5 Gum’s campaign “how it feels to chew 5 Gum.” I was also asked to talk about the same thing in a webcast by the American Marketing Association.

If you don’t want to drop your viewer off the deep end, you can do what we did for iTrade. Instead of making a strong connection with a sudden, overwhelming experience, we chose to introduce our metaphor as a gradual transformative experience. 

In this business video, our main character, Jane, is a frustrated business owner searching for an easier way to manage her shipments. Eventually, when she finds the answer, she’s literally transported into the digital world of the iTrade app. This kind of transformative storytelling allowed us to creatively showcase iTrade’s positive effect on their potential customers without making them feel overwhelmed.

When iTrade saw the video we had made to answer their needs and their customers’ needs, they were ecstatic. 

Using Visual Storytelling in the Real World

All right, all right, we get it. Visual metaphors are powerful, but how on earth do you use them in the real world? Are they any good as explainer videos, as ads, as anything? If you use these, will you get results?

In short, you can use these ANYWHERE—whoo hoo!!

However, strong visual storytelling is best when it’s used to reach out directly to consumers. In iTrade’s case, they will be using their new video to contact new markets and vendors directly instead of using their new video in a more stereotypical digital advertising campaign.  

If you’re looking for creative video marketing, why not reach out to us? We would love to talk with you.

Your story starts here. 

Storyboard:

Art:

iTrade Order - visual storytelling