Filming the unfilmable: Sookio's copywriting challenge

Mixing written and audio-visual media can produce big business results, if you do it right. Discover how Sookio did it right, and learn how the team can do it for you.

hands working on keyboards

Rory Stobo, Chief Copywriter at Sookio, writes:

Quick story. We decided to do a video pushing our copywriting services. Muggins here got to write the script… and I didn’t have a clue how to start.

Writing is, well, it’s writing. All the excitement happens behind my eyeballs where (mercifully) nobody can see what’s going on. How do you go about expressing this process visually?

Thousands of marketers face this issue, or a version of it. How do you write about data, for instance, expressing a logical, numeric practice in a written medium? How did McDonald’s capture the essence of burgers in a jingle?

The old A Level philosophy problem, ‘how do you describe the colour blue to a blind man?’ now troubles highly paid creative professionals all over the world. And me. So, let’s examine how it’s done.

Setting video marketing goals

But why even bother? Like anything in marketing, it’s vital to decide why you’re doing something before you do it. Even if it’s simply to experiment, setting a clear goal is a must.

So what was our goal here? Surely writing stays on the page, video stays on the screen, music stays in the speakers, everything does its defined job and everyone’s happy?

Perhaps. But fusing media produces something greater than the sum of its parts. When sharing information, for example, mixing effective visuals into training can improve learning by up to 400%.

If language is indeed innate to humans (the jury’s still out on linguistic nativism), it still plays second fiddle to audio-visual input, an evolutionary constant. Visuals are processed 60,000 times faster than text. Sound is even faster, the brain recognises a sound in around 0.05 seconds.

Great marketing manufactures an emotional or perceived ethical need (pathos and ethos), which the customer then rationalises after the fact (logos).

Given the immediacy with which we process audio-visuals, they’re prime candidates for appeasing the pathos and ethos. Text and stats then let the logos feel good about itself and the sale is made.

But if we can translate the essence of these media, we imbue each with elements of its partners. The essence of writing can gain greater immediacy and transcend the plodding restraints of logic. Visuals might enjoy more weight if translated into a form which appeals to the logical mind.

…Probably. Maybe. Hey, if we already knew the outcome there’d be no point doing the experiment, right? Tally ho!

The sweet smell of success

In terms of intersensory marketing, thoughts instantly turn to perfume ads. You’re basically saying ‘this smells nice,’ which can’t be meaningfully conveyed in a written or visual media.

Smell is a raw, animal sense. We admire a tender touch, a refined palate, a keen ear for music, or a discerning eye. Smell, meanwhile, is tied up in so many unsexy connotations that even making it an aspirational experience is its own challenge.


Read more on the Sookio blog or jump straight to our copywriting promo video.


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