Did you know there’s a tried-and-true creative brief template for building deeper connections with your audience?
It’s called the founder’s story.
The founder’s story—as its name implies—is the story of the founder of a business or organization.
In essence, it’s the motivation, the why, behind the origins of the business as well as a guidepost for its core motivations.
A good founder’s story gives users the context behind the product or service they’re being told about. It’s a long-form story on the key problem that the business is trying to solve and its unique approach (the story itself) to address it.
At its core, the founder’s story is a personification of the business itself, humanizing it for audiences through the character of the founder(s) and giving readers a more intimate look into the heart of the business.
The founder’s story has been around since the dawn of marketing and advertising, from the storied pitches of traveling salesmen to the contemporary “about us” page of Fortune 500 companies.
And for good reason—it works.
Here, we’ll dive into the elements of the founder’s story, how it works, why it works, and how to use it—specifically as it applies to video ads and video storytelling.
Leverage Your Founder’s Story
At Primer, we have a playbook of several themes that have been proven to drive strong performance in engagement, conversion, and retention. Among those themes is the aforementioned “founder’s story.”
Within this theme, a unique story that drove the creation of a product or company is shared.
Here’s an example of a founder’s story from Nom Nom:
The story begins with a pair of mini Australian Shepherds named Harlee and Mim, and a handful of dog lovers in San Francisco.
In February 2013 what would become the founding family team of NomNomNow — now known as Nom Nom — went to casually look at puppies. Naturally, Alex, Zach & Natethe fell in love at first sight and adopted half-sisters Mim and Harlee.
Bringing home the girls now meant searching for dog food, and the team was surprised to see how little had changed in the dog food space since the 1980s: most dog food was still kibble or canned, filled with unpronounceable ingredients and industrial filler – the dog equivalent of microwaveable dinners.
Beginning in late 2014, the team began experimenting with cooking and delivering fresh food for friends and family. Cooking fresh took on added urgency as Harlee developed health issues related to a compromised immune system, and her vet recommended a fully fresh diet.
Enter Dr. Justin Shmalberg, a clinician and professor at a leading college of veterinary medicine and one of the world’s foremost experts on cutting-edge dog nutrition. Today our recipes are crafted to ensure our customers receive the best food for their dogs.
Within a few short paragraphs, Nom Nom gives readers a clear idea of who they are, how they came to be, and what their brand strives to offer to the public (the solution).
In this sense, the founders communicate the value of their company by positioning themselves as its first customers. They understand your needs because they’ve been on both sides.
These kinds of successful founder stories, ones pulled from helpful creative brief templates, serve as the backbone for building a connection with new audiences through video storytelling. Viewers want to have an emotional connection and respond to an emotional trigger/element; they want something to relate to and identify with on a human level).
Give them one, and they will respond to it.
Here are just a few examples:
Each of these serves to drive the human element at the heart of their respective business and its message.
This particular theme works exceptionally well for video ads because video can combine a litany of audio and visual elements to tell a compelling story. In fact, many websites will leverage video assets on home pages, landing pages, and external social channels as core elements of their marketing/branding.
This Creative Brief Template Works for Expert Stories Too
But what if you don’t have a compelling founding story?
Perhaps your founding story is more simple and straightforward: You identified a market, offered a new/unique product, and found success.
In those instances, you can still use the founder’s story creative brief template in the form of an expert’s testimony. Testimonials are exactly as they sound, they’re the positive testimony of an individual advocating the success of their experience with a product or service.
An extended review of sorts, a testimonial is a critical asset in marketing and advertising, giving readers the opportunity to connect with previous customers in place of the business or its founders.
A well-done testimonial is the story of an experience, one that can work to set the expectation for your brand, product, or service. Thankfully, testimonials don’t require the reader to know the person giving them. They instead serve as characters for your user to connect to via their story.
And similar to the founder’s stories, testimonials are deployed the same way via homepages, landing pages, and across social media channels.
The Power of Storytelling and Emotional Connection in Video Ads
When it comes to capturing an audience’s attention, there’s no better way in the modern, digital age than video. Take a quick look at the top social media platforms in the world, and their bread and butter is video-based content—largely short form.
From YouTube to TikTok, the ability to drive a marketing message through video storytelling has never been more in demand.
In fact, there’s a concept called “significant objects” in video storytelling that involves bonding the viewer to a specific object/product by giving it sentimental value.
For example, there was a shop that allowed writers to mock up stories for trinkets they were selling. These trinkets were then posted to eBay and were sold at a much higher value due to the built-in sentiment—the story—attached to these pieces.
Here’s one example:
As a child, I loved Beatrix Potter’s story of the two bad mice, Tom Thumb and Hunca Munca, who broke into the doll’s house where “the dinner had been bought ready-made, in a box full of shavings. There were two red lobsters, and a ham, a fish, a pudding, and some pears and oranges. They would not come off the plates, but they were extremely beautiful.” Tom and Hunca Munca smashed dinner when they found it could not be eaten; I keep the hot dog to remind myself that food does not have to be beautiful.
— Jenny Davidson
This case study showed that purchasing behavior is inherently linked to emotion, even when eBay marked the stories as fictional.
Users connect with these stories because they reflect the human side of companies. They show that experts at your organization change, grow, and face daily obstacles just like them.
If you can frame your story in those basic elements, you’ll be able to generate universal connections with your audience.
This is why the founder’s story theme and creative brief template work for video ads to drive conversions.
Improve Your Video Ads with This Creative Brief Template
Primer’s proven founder’s story template can be used to create winning video ads that will consistently and reliably drive conversions.
Here’s a quick look at the founder’s story formula:
Each frame holds a crucial step in driving the story and fostering a stronger bond between your audience and your brand.
Check out this example from the fertility-based testing company, Proov. In the video, you can identify the step-by-step framework from the founder, Amy.
The founder’s story is a powerful tool, at times instantly connecting an audience to a business through a human medium—the founder or fellow customer (testimonial).
By following the framework of the founder’s story, it’s possible to create quick and lasting connections with new and returning customers. All you need to do is share a story that rings true within the minds and hearts of your viewers.
<<Click here to get our downloadable Founder’s Story Video Ad Creative Brief Template>>
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