Context and positioning are hugely important when it comes to communication. Google certainly knows this.
My friend Josh Forbes (a hugely talented director) posted the below video on Facebook – without resorting to any of the recently popular “What happened next will blow your mind” or “The most AMAZING THING EVER” descriptions (cheers to that, Mr. Forbes). I watched, and was caught off-guard – both from a human standpoint and from a storytelling perspective.
The idea of Google developing cars that drive themselves without any human intervention can be downright freaky on the surface of it. The idea of driving in Los Angeles with zero manual control of a car? God have mercy. But clearly Google knows that, so what do they do? They focus on the human angle.
No matter how Skynet-esque Google might appear or actually be, Google folk know these cars won’t be sold by virtue of 3D graphics showing how technically advanced they are. The cars are sold by the idea of life changing benefits – restoration of time with kids, restoration of freedom and independence for those who are no longer eligible to drive or never were able to drive in the first place.
As we shape our stories through our editing, feature elements that go beyond the mere surface context to the deeper, core elements that will touch your audience’s heart and mind. The first time I watched this, I got a bit emotional – especially with the blind gentleman. The video’s not just about a car that drives itself; in this one instance, the idea of a self-driving car is literally a key to a blind man’s freedom.
In the words of a gifted communicator who knew this idea inside and out:
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” -Maya Angelou