Storytelling is 44,000 Years Old

Posted December 12, 2019
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If you are using video or TV to communicate ideas or to sell a product, use the medium to tell a story.

Storytelling works.

It works because it resonates with something that is very deep in our DNA, something that is far older than Twitter or YouTube or Facebook or even TV, if that was possible.

Yesterday, the Washington Post published a story about cave drawings that had been found in Indonesia that dated back 44,000 years. These far surpass the famous cave drawings of Lasceaux, France, which date back a mere 12,000 years.

What makes this interesting, and relevant to us, is that the drawings told stories.  They were not just art hung on the walls of the caves to brighten things up.  They had a specific purpose.

They were used to educate.

Every other species on this planet, from spiders to sheep are born with innate instincts.  Spiders don't have to go to spider school to learn how to weave a web. It is in their DNA.

Humans are not so fortunate.

Leave a baby spider alone (good idea anyway) and it will naturally start to weave a web and catch flies.  Leave a baby human alone, and it will die.

So for the very survival of species it was necessary of us to teach each subsequent generation how to survive. And in the case of the Indonesian cave drawings, some 44,000 years ago, young homo sapiens were eagerly watching the cave walls to learn how to do that.

That was before TV.

But the concept remains the same.

The cave drawings of Indonesia were the TV news of the day.

Today, if you are making TV news (or any other kind of video) and you want to commumicate ideas or information that will stick, that will have an impact, that will tell educate - tell a story.

Tell a visual story.

With a character.

Make it interesting

Make it compelling

Do it right and it will work every time.

44,000 years of DNA is hard to beat.



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