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Zachary Slingsby is a writer, short film creator, and founder of Human Factor Media, an award-winning branded storytelling company that has worked with leading brands and publishers to create videos people actually want to watch. We discussed thinking like a customer, planning engaging videos, and effective brand storytelling this week on the On Brand podcast.
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About Zachary Slingsby
Zachary Slingsby is a writer, short film creator, and founder of Human Factor Media, an award-winning branded storytelling company that has worked with leading brands and publishers to create videos people actually want to watch. Zack graduated from Fordham University, received his MFA from the New School, and has published in over a dozen creative and industry publications. He believes the ingredient that makes a literary story great is the same that makes for a great video.
His company is based between Nashville, where he lives, and New York City, collaborating with brands to create stories and films instead of ads and interruptions.
“We’re very smart as consumers. We get into trouble when we start thinking like brands,” Zack quipped at the top of the show. You have to hook your audience in the first three seconds (!) of your video. From there, it’s about getting them to what he calls the next “propulsive turn.”
“The way to capture attention is to put on a show.” That’s what Zack noted about brands like Budweiser, MetLife, and Yeti. These brands have turned their social channels into “theatre pages.”
What’s a theatre page? Being a self-proclaimed word nerd, I had to ask Zack for a definition. He pointed us to MetLife’s social videos, which offer small business vignettes such as the story of an immigrant starting a business. “They’re only trying to engage you—there’s a link to shop if you want” but that’s not the primary objective.
“Avoid fear-based decision making,” Zack cautions, citing brands like Lexus with their Colin Quinn comedy show and—the biggest example of all—Amazon, with award-winning shows available with Amazon Prime that help them “sell socks.”
What brand has made Zack smile recently? Zach mentioned Yeti and Northface and shared a very “on brand” smile on the role the Top Gun movies have played in the experience around the real Top Gun flight school.
To learn more, check out their website at HumanFactorMedia.co.
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Until next week, I’ll see you on the Internet!