What does it take to tell a powerful visual story?
One topic that Mashable is particularly excited about is the rise of new visual platforms like Snapchat, Vine and Instagram. We interviewed Mashable’s Jeff Petriello, head of visual storytelling on the marketing team, to get the conversation started on the latest visual trends.
What are the newest visual tools in marketing and what do they do?
It seems like it’s less about what’s new technology-wise and more about what’s become easier for everyone to do. Photography, videography, animation, editing and manipulation – these used to be crafts with barriers to entry that now are much easier to break through. For marketers, especially in the digital realm, this change shifts targeting to a huge audience with significant creative power, and lets them do more with less cash.
What differentiates these tools from one another? In other words, are there certain stories that Vine can tell better than Snapchat, for example?
Obviously different platforms lend themselves to different forms of content. It might be extremely powerful to see a stunning hi-res image, but that image could lose its value if looped with a Ken Burns effect from iPhoto 2k4 on Vine for all eternity. Knowing what goes where is a mixture of practice and common sense.
What makes these tools effective in media?
Media is all about communication. The age we’re in now gives us more options than ever for how we can communicate. Those options hopefully increase the chance that a story will be told in the most effective way possible.
Where do you see the future of visual storytelling heading?
As we experience a more entrenched commodification of the Internet, I think we’ll see increasingly higher-budget productions on our devices in the next few years. I continue to see games holding a larger share of the audience than anyone gives them credit for, and I’d expect high-profile collaborations in that world, like the one we saw this year between Kevin Spacey and Call of Duty, to multiply.
Like the music industry before it, the world of visual media will become less homogenized, letting individuals curate their own consumption. It’ll be more about the shows, brands and even celebrities that an individual likes, and less about what the industry wants us all to be into.
What does it take to tell a great visual story?
Well, assuming you have a good story to tell in the first place, it’s about making sure each frame has a visual purpose. When I go back and look at movies, photographs or any other visual media that I truly admire, I’m amazed at just how much thought is squeezed into each and every composition. That, and a great team to put it together, like the one I’ve got.
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