Radio Hed: Story Forms for Radio Writers – The Legend

Radio-Hed-Logo-2By Jeffery Hedquist

Searching for a way to bring your client’s story to life? Immortalize the advertiser in a legend.

A legend is a story with the quality of verisimilitude. However, there’s great flexibility in defining what’s within the realm of possibility, and that gives you great freedom in creating a legend for your client. A legend is presented as factual, yet can include miracles, amazing feats in a historical and cultural context and asks the listener to suspend disbelief.

The Brothers Grimm defined legend as folktale historically grounded. You can think of legends as rumors with staying power. Urban legends are contemporary examples. They fascinate us and have enough connection to reality (real persons, location, time) to make them memorable and believable, if not always believed.

This makes this story form particularly adaptable to commercials. You have the factual underpinnings of real persons, businesses, locations and history. Then you have the shared anxieties and beliefs of an audience to use as story material.

You can have fun creating campaigns with drama and humor – a mysterious stranger who solves software installation challenges, a superhero who is on call 24/7 to fix your plumbing, restaurant owners with hundred year old secret recipes, gathering places where Cupid has been spotted…

Heck, we even took a few items from a sports pub menu and created a campaign of mini legends that increased the advertiser’s business by 42%. Just think what you could do.

Steps to creating a legend commercial:

1. Setting: Describe elements to which your audience can relate.

2. The problem is…: What’s the anxiety your audience experiences relating to the product or service?

3. The failure to solve the problem: Unsuccessful attempts the audience may have taken

4. Then a hero comes along…: The hero could be the advertiser, the product, or service, but it can also be the prospect.

5. The hero has a plan: He has experience, knowledge, powers, and resources. If it’s the prospect, then he knows about the advertiser.

6. The solution is found: Your client’s USP. Call to action.

7. The wrap up: The prospect’s pain is alleviated.

To inspire you, here are some examples of famous legends:

Big Foot, El Dorado, Fountain of Youth, King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, Loch Ness Monster, Robin Hood, Shangri-La, William Tell.

© 1997-2012 Hedquist Productions, Inc. All rights reserved.

Comments (0)

There are no comments posted here yet

Leave your comments

  1. Posting comment as a guest. Your post will be moderated. Your email address will not be shown or linked. (If you have an account, log in for real time posting and other options.)
0 Characters
Attachments (0 / 3)
Share Your Location