The Narrative Impact of Emotions

Story. A little over a year ago, we filmed a few videos for a local Ohio-based healthcare company called Mercy Health. While working on the shoot, we were struck by something truly powerful that Melinda, a social worker who works in hospice care, said to us. She said, "There are other intimate moments throughout your life, but the two main significant ones are when you're born and when you die." It was the emotional delivery of this sentence that set the tone for the entire video. It allowed us to tell Melinda’s story from a place of depth and importance. Because what she does as a social worker for people in hospice care is important, and it is difficult.

Choices. There is an underrated science to telling a good story. And there is a good story to be found in just about everything. In order for a story to work, you have to have several key elements that all fit and work together. One of these is character. Every story has a protagonist or main character. This main character needs to be someone that your audience identifies with on an empathetic, emotional level. Another element is tone. To get your consumer emotionally involved with your story, it’s important to decide what tone to take. In our aforementioned story about Melinda, it would be easy to assume that we were telling a sad story. In reality, Melinda’s story was more inspiring and hopeful, because of her passion for her job and the difference she makes in her local community.

Truth. We are relentlessly marketed to on a day-to-day basis. Even as “marketers” ourselves, we feel the boredom and perpetual drudgery that is modern advertising. Companies so often seem to want to make us just buy things for the sake of buying things, and they will stop at nothing to increase their bottom line. As a consumer, it is easy to feel manipulated by advertisements. And it’s true: playing on your consumer’s or target audience’s emotions is a very compelling way to sell a product.


Suggestion. At Rooted Content, we strive to tell stories. One of the most important parts of telling a story is what emotions it evokes in you when read it, see it, or hear it. For example: think of your favorite movie or book. What makes it impactful to you? Does it move you? Make you cry? Laugh? Does it make you want to reach out to your mother or brother or best friend? Chances are, there is some kind of emotional attachment you feel to the story itself that makes you want to keep coming back for more. When we create visual aids for our clients we want to capture specific moments in time, but also specific emotions in time.

Connection. In storytelling, emotion is what creates a bridge between (in our case) the viewer and the content they are watching. By documenting real people using their own words, we are connecting the person on screen and the person watching the screen. As we mentioned before, when talking about choosing a main character, we do this by giving the person watching an inroad into your story by making the person on screen emotionally relatable. By using empathy, the viewer then feels connected to what they are seeing on a deeper level.

Summary. As a storyteller, it’s important to focus on all aspects of the story you are telling in order to find which emotion best fits your product, who you are trying to reach, and the message you want to convey to your viewers. This can be accomplished by drawing the proper emotions from your subject material and communicating them to your audience.

Action. At Rooted Content, we tell customized visual stories for your business, non-profit, or healthcare organization. We can help convey the emotional weight of your company’s message in a way that is unique to your business. Let us help you reach the people you want to reach today.