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Adapting Hollywood acting techniques to engage audiences
This paper shows how the principles of storytelling that actors use to craft compelling, believable performances lend themselves perfectly to the discipline of marketing. Drawing on the scene study exercise — an activity common to acting conservatories the world over — the paper shows how marketers can deepen their understanding of human behaviour and motivation. With this enriched sense of empathy, they can then go out in the world to craft more meaningful stories that drive action. This paper sets a framework for developing the skills necessary for human-centred storytelling. It starts by examining theories of human cognition to explain why storytelling is so effective. It then provides a vocabulary for human-centred stories, borrowed from the author’s work as an actor in Hollywood. Throughout, the paper makes direct and practical connections between the crafts of acting and marketing, highlighting concepts that marketers of all disciplines can consider for their content and campaigns.
The full article is available to institutions that have subscribed to the journal.
Kevin Doherty is a marketer and storyteller for Vyond, a cloud-based animation studio that allows anybody to make media that move. An alumnus of UCLA’s School of Theater, Film and Television, Kevin specialises in bringing powerful entertainment principles into real-life communication. In addition to marketing, Kevin specialises in learning, customer experience and agile ways of working.
CitationDoherty, Kevin (2022, September 1). Adapting Hollywood acting techniques to engage audiences. In the Journal of Digital & Social Media Marketing, Volume 10, Issue 2.