Join the IMPACT coaches for a deep dive on a new topic every month in our free virtual event series.

Register Here

Join the IMPACT coaches for a deep dive on a new topic every month in our free virtual event series.
Register Here
The Ultimate Inbound Marketing Strategy Playbook 2022

Take your inbound strategy to the next level

  • Master the 7 principles of highly effective inbound marketing
  • Dramatically improve your inbound sales
  • Get more buy-in at your company

Storytelling and brain science in sales & marketing videos [Film School for Marketers, Ep. 31]

By Zach Basner

Storytelling and brain science in sales & marketing videos [Film School for Marketers, Ep. 31]

When you think about how you’re communicating in your video content, have you ever considered the chemical reaction your viewers have?

My guess is probably not.

Oftentimes, if we were to define how we want our content to come across to our viewers we will use words like “engaging” or “trust-building.”

But is science at play when it comes to eliciting these responses?

 Join the IMPACT coaches for a deep dive on a new topic every month in our free virtual event series.

In this episode of the Film School for Marketers Podcast, we’re sharing our thoughts from a TED Talk from communication expert David JP Phillips titled, “The Magical Science of Storytelling.”

We’ll be breaking down the chemical reactions that move your viewers to action, and the ones that prevent it.

Listen to the full episode here (or scroll down to watch the video):

Why is it important to consider the brain chemicals your videos produce?

First off, these aren’t things we learn in school — at least, I didn’t — but maybe should've.

If we’re not invoking the proper emotional response to our videos, we’re losing trust and opportunities and it's all chemical.

Put simply, David states that “The more emotionally invested you are in something, the less critical and the less objectively observant you become.”

With the right chemicals, we’re focused, motivated, trusting, and energetic.

But, with the wrong chemicals, we’re critical, indecisive, intolerant, memory impaired.

So the question is, which response would you prefer, and, what can you do to affect this in your viewer’s mind?

You can choose from one of David’s aptly named “cocktails,” the Angels Cocktail or the Devil’s Cocktail.

What is the “Angel’s Cocktail?”

Three chemicals make up this magical emotional response: dopamine, oxytocin, and endorphins. Each one has its own unique characteristics and ways to go about releasing them in your viewer’s brain.

Dopamine - increases focus, motivation, and memory

Dopamine can be released by creating suspense and cliffhangers. This feeling of anticipation makes us lean in and listen.

A simple way to work towards this is by creating great teasers at the beginning and throughout your video. Giving a strong preview or a sense of where the viewer is headed, assuming it’s strong, is what produces dopamine.

You can use this throughout your video by saying things like, “but more on that in a second” or “by the end of this video, you’ll be able to X and Y.”

Oxytocin - promotes generosity, creates trust, and a sense of humanity

To illustrate what oxytocin feels like, David shares a very personal story with the audience.

As you will experience if you watch it, it creates an unusual sense of bonding with him. He feels more human and trustworthy.

To create this experience in your own videos, you don’t even necessarily have to take it that far, with a personal story.

If you’re conscious of this chemical when creating anecdotes, you can produce a similar effect.

I once had a mentor who said, “it’s much easier to teach somebody something new when you start with something they already know.”

Similarly, you can present yourself in your videos as equal to the viewer.

As Will points out, Thad from the Metal Roofing Channel (Sheffield Metals, an IMPACT client) presents himself as though he’s learning alongside the viewers, and asking the questions he knows they have.

Endorphins - promotes creativity, relaxation, and improves focus

You’ve likely heard of these before.

Endorphins are released to give our brains and bodies a sense of well-being and are commonly released in times of physical or mental stress.

But, you can also produce this chemical by making people laugh, as David points out.

I believe variations of endorphins can also be produced by simply giving people what they are desperately looking for. Great answers and solutions to their fears, worries, and anxieties.

What is the “Devil’s Cocktail?”

Two components make up this unfavorable emotional reaction: adrenaline and cortisol.

These two chemicals promote emotional responses that make us intolerant, irritable, uncreative, critical, and memory impaired.

Of course, not many of us would want to do this intentionally, but how might we be doing it unconsciously?

A few things in your videos could be promoting this sense of stress:

  • Too much material or topics in one video
  • Jarring effects or distractions
  • Uncomfortable and stressful on-camera behavior

An uncomfortable person on-camera will oftentimes create an uncomfortable viewer.

Will prompts us to think of times when you’ve noticed that the presenter wasn’t very relaxed, or fumbling over their words.

Did you find it difficult to pay attention to what they were saying? Did you all of a sudden start psychoanalyzing that person? I know I’ve felt that way before.

So, how does all of this apply to They Ask, You Answer and my video content?

If you’re familiar with the philosophy that is They Ask, You Answer and/or you agree that we’re all in the business of trust, you’re already headed in the right direction.

So, when you think of how to apply the teachings of David JP Phillips to your content, consider this: when you produce content that’s valuable, honest, and transparent how does that make our viewers feel?

Furthermore, how can use great communication to make our viewers more focused, more motivated, and less critical?

I encourage you to watch the entire TED Talk from David and carefully consider how often you’re serving up the “Angel’s Cocktail” or the “Devil’s Cocktail.”

We’d love to hear from you!

First, subscribe to our Film School For Marketers Podcast.

Second, leave us a review on iTunes or share the love with fellow marketers and sales professionals who could benefit from our content.

Lastly, have a question or idea for a future episode? Let us know!

MarketHer iTunes Subscribe New call-to-action Listen on Google Play Music 

Join the IMPACT coaches for a deep dive on a new topic every month in our free virtual event series.


Video Marketing
Published on December 18, 2019

Recent Articles

4 Tried-and-True Tips for Using Video in Sales Prospecting
January 19, 2023 • 5 min read
4 Videos That Will Streamline Your Sales Process — And Don’t Require a Videographer
January 18, 2023 • 4 min read
The Selling 7: How to Make an Amazing 80% Video to Speed Up Your First Sales Call (+Examples)
September 8, 2022 • 8 min read
The Hidden Costs of Successful Video Marketing
August 11, 2022 • 9 min read
The Selling 7: Sales and Marketing Videos Guaranteed to Get Results [+ Examples]
July 18, 2022 • 6 min read
4 Reasons You Shouldn’t Hire a Third-Party Video Company
July 11, 2022 • 8 min read
Personalized Video Marketing: How To Turn Leads Into Customers
June 30, 2022 • 6 min read
Video Marketing: 13 Tips for Creating More Professional Video Content
June 16, 2022 • 10 min read
How To Create an Effective YouTube Marketing Strategy
May 19, 2022 • 13 min read
Video SEO: How To Optimize Videos To Drive Traffic to Your Website
May 9, 2022 • 8 min read
How To Create a YouTube Channel for Business (+ 9 Brands Leading the Way)
April 25, 2022 • 9 min read
How To Use Real Estate Video Marketing to Drive More Property Sales
April 23, 2022 • 9 min read
3 Effective Ways To Use Personalized Sales Videos
April 11, 2022 • 6 min read
How To Manage Your Videographer (Without Video Experience)
April 5, 2022 • 14 min read
3 Expert Tips for Successfully Managing a Videographer
March 31, 2022 • 8 min read
The Selling 7: How To Create Customer Journey Videos (+ Examples)
March 21, 2022 • 7 min read
7 Top Video Marketing Examples From Companies Doing It Right
March 7, 2022 • 8 min read
The Selling 7: How To Create the Best Cost Videos (+ Examples)
February 28, 2022 • 6 min read
Vidyard vs. Wistia for Video Hosting in 2022: Which Is Better?
February 5, 2022 • 7 min read
How to Make High-Quality Video For Sales, Even On A Budget
January 22, 2022 • 5 min read
Video Marketing: What Your 2022 Business Video Strategy Must Include
January 17, 2022 • 10 min read
5 Ways to Ace Your YouTube SEO Strategy in 2022
January 7, 2022 • 7 min read
The Selling 7: How to Make Amazing Employee Bio Videos (+ Examples)
January 6, 2022 • 5 min read
The Selling 7: 5 Best Landing Page Video Examples
December 23, 2021 • 7 min read
We’ve Never Done 'Selling 7' Videos; Where Do We Start?
December 17, 2021 • 7 min read