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How Story and Metaphor Combine to Create an Effective Explainer Video

October 31, 2014 by Mainak Biswas under Digital Marketing Marketing212 views
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An explainer video, just like any short or long film, needs to be based on a good script. Good script writing practice involves using stories that are an allegory to something that is unsaid. Let us call them, metaphors. Metaphors in literary usage refer to words or ideas that describe a subject and compare them to an unrelated object or idea, while asserting they both are alike.

Metaphors or allegories or similes?

What is even more important for us to understand is the concept behind an allegory. Every story of an explainer video or a film must be allegorical in nature. Now what on earth could be an allegory? Is it the same as a metaphor or a simile? How do all these words fit into a storyboard that scriptwriters write before shooting an explainer video?

In this article, let us firs describe what metaphors, allegories and similes are, and then look at the importance of stories being connected to these rhetorical figures of speech. If you are a script writer or you are looking for someone to get an explainer video made for you, make sure one of these figures of speech is used.

Metaphors and stories

A metaphor uses association, comparison and tactics of resemblance to imply that something that is being said is somehow similar to what is being compared. Shakespeare once said “All the world’s a stage”. He used the “stage” as a metaphor to imply that the world should be seen as a drama or a theatre. For him, the world was a spectacle in which we must get involved in order to feel its real essence, just like we would do in a stage play.

In the case of an explainer video, the scriptwriter could make use of metaphors to make the audience experience a richer emotional process. For instance, while you are explaining Software XYZ, you could say that a particular software program is like a dentist, carefully going through problematic areas, cleaning them up and fixing them.

Here, software XVZ is compared to a dentist and the dentist is the metaphor. One could easily have an explainer video story that personifies the software XYZ as a dentist that cleans, repairs and polishes whatever needs to be fixed on a computer or another software program. Now wouldn’t that interest the viewer more than just telling them how to use the software?

Allegories and stories

Allegories are a more complex and sophisticated form of figure of speech. They make the entire stories and films as an allegory (or allusion) to a broader idea or concept that is not mentioned. For instance, George Orwell’s “Animal Farm” was an allegory to the communist tyranny. Allegories are not often required in an explainer video script as that would make things way too complex. Your typical audience wouldn’t want to spend a lot of time debating the allegorical significance of the script used in your explainer video.

Similes and stories

A simile is a very simple form of rhetorical figure of speech. It compares two objects directly with the help of words like “than”, “so”, “as” or verbs such as “resemble”. For example, the expression “white as snow” is a simile. There is no hidden meaning here, and there is nothing that one needs to contemplate on. However, the phrase “white as snow” would make us think of purity, cleanliness, chill and winter. This simile maybe used in an advertisement that sells white cotton clothes. Similes are useful in ad copy creation but are not significantly important when it comes to creating stories for explainer videos.

Final thoughts

Metaphors can be used to weave into stories before writing the storyboard and ensure that the explainer video is not only entertaining but also of some thought provoking importance. Also, using allegories is better for mainstream movies or artful documentaries and short films. Allegories consume a lot of cognitive energy of the viewer for explainer videos to be successful. On the other hand, similes are great to be used in ad copy but must be sparingly used in explainer videos. In conclusion, we can say that a metaphorical story is always better than a simple script when it comes to explainer videos.

To create effective explainer videos for your business, talk to the explainer video specialists at Oomphbox.

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