This month’s blog post includes different perspectives from our team – all answering the same question, “what’s the most important aspect of storytelling for brands?” We hope you enjoy this read, and make sure to read all the way to the end for a very special, limited-time promotion. 😉

Leading the conversation is our DOP & Associate Creative Director, Gabe Lawler on the visual aspects of storytelling.

As a cinematographer, I have worked on numerous projects for different brands, and one thing that has become clear to me is that storytelling is the key to capturing an audience’s attention. A brand’s story is not just about what it sells but about the values, beliefs, and purpose that drive it. In this blog post, I will share my perspective on the most important aspect of storytelling for brands from a cinematographer’s point of view.

The most crucial aspect of storytelling for brands is creating a powerful emotional connection with the audience. A brand that can tap into the emotions of its audience has a better chance of resonating with them and staying in their minds. Emotional storytelling is about creating a sense of empathy, where the audience can relate to the story and connect with the brand at a personal level.

To achieve emotional storytelling, a brand must first identify its core values and beliefs. These are the underlying principles that guide the brand’s mission and purpose. Once a brand has identified its values and beliefs, it can then build a story that aligns with them. This means that every element of the story, from the visuals to the music, should reflect the brand’s core values and beliefs. A good representation of this is a COVID 19 Campaign that we did with Boost Oregon. Boost Oregon believes that when it comes to educating people about vaccinations, that you have to meet them at their level. On that campaign we worked with a handful of people from different communities that shared their deeper reason of why they chose to get vaccinated, and encouraged other community members to look into getting vaccinated themselves.

If you’re interested in seeing our other works in the Non-Profit sector, click here to view our Vimeo showcase. 

Another critical aspect of emotional storytelling is authenticity. An audience can easily spot when a brand is being insincere, and this can turn them off. Therefore, it is essential to be honest and authentic when creating a brand story.

Authenticity means that the story should not only align with the brand’s values but also reflect its real-life experiences. This helps to build trust with the audience and creates a more profound emotional connection.

Cinematography plays a critical role in emotional storytelling. As a cinematographer, I understand that visuals have the power to evoke emotions and capture the audience’s attention. Therefore, it is crucial to use visuals that align with the brand’s values and beliefs. For example, if a brand stands for environmental sustainability, then the visuals should reflect this by using natural settings and showcasing environmentally conscious activities.

Another aspect of cinematography is the use of color, lighting, and camera movements. These elements can be used to create a mood or atmosphere that evokes certain emotions. For instance, warm colors can evoke feelings of happiness and joy, while dark colors can create a sense of fear or suspense. Therefore, it is essential to choose the right color palette, lighting, and camera movements that align with the brand’s values and emotions.

In conclusion, emotional storytelling is the most critical aspect of storytelling for brands. Emotional storytelling requires a deep understanding of the brand’s values and beliefs and a sincere and authentic approach to storytelling. As a cinematographer, I believe that the visuals play a critical role in emotional storytelling, and the use of color, lighting, and camera movements can help create a mood or atmosphere that evokes emotions. Therefore, when telling a brand’s story, it is crucial to align all the elements of the story with the brand’s core values and beliefs to create a powerful emotional connection with the audience. At GMS Media and Advertising we focus on your brand, and come up with amazing stories that expand you and your company’s narrative.

Gabe Lawler, DOP & Associate Creative Director


‘Storytelling – Assisted with AI’, by Spencer Bonnell, Writer 

Chat GPT has been on everyone’s tongues for the past couple months, and for good reason. Its capabilities are clearly impressive, surpassing the abilities of its preceding chat bots, making them look like cute toys in comparison. From its ability to generate working code to writing cogent legal documents, the possibilities held by the technology are undeniably exciting. The coin has another side to it though, and many of the tasks which Chat GPT excels at lay at the crux of the type of white collar jobs that we previously thought immune to automation. 

As a copywriter, my feelings towards the program are mixed. Writing for marketing purposes is all about diction, tone, and phrasing and it takes time to come up with compelling and coherent words. Chat GPT doesn’t need time to answer its queries, but I wondered whether it would win on the basis of quality. So, with that in mind, I decided to add Chat GPT as a co-author to this month’s piece, and with tongue in cheek, decided we’d share our favorite copywriting strategies.

Without further ado, please enjoy: Spencer and Chat GPT’s AI Assisted Blog Post

As a copywriter, my job is to create compelling content that connects with people and tells a story that resonates with them. And when it comes to telling a brand story, it’s no different. In fact, telling a brand story is one of the most important things a copywriter can do, as it can help establish the brand’s identity and connect with its target audience.

So how do you tell a brand story? Well, it starts with understanding the brand’s values, mission, and target audience. Once you have a clear understanding of these things, you can begin crafting a story that speaks to them in a way that is both authentic and engaging.

One of the most important things to keep in mind when telling a brand story is to make it relatable.

People connect with stories that they can see themselves in, so it’s important to create a narrative that is not only engaging but also resonates with your audience on a personal level.

This means highlighting the brand’s unique selling points and showcasing how they solve real problems for real people.

Another key element of a successful brand story is consistency. Consistency is key when it comes to establishing a brand’s identity and building trust with its audience. This means that all aspects of the brand’s story, from the tone of voice to the visual identity, should be consistent across all channels and touchpoints.

One effective strategy is to create an emotional connection with the audience. This can involve weaving together a narrative that is both engaging and relatable, using anecdotes and personal experiences to illustrate the brand’s values and mission.

On the set of Inward Out with executive producer, Esther Godoy

I recently worked on a not yet released project called ‘InwardOut’ with executive producer Esther Godoy, which highlights successful queer women. By intimately disclosing the trials and tribulations that led to their achievements, they are in essence using pathos to establish a relationship between themselves, their brands, and viewers.

Another effective approach is to create a hero’s journey. This involves creating a narrative that follows the journey of a hero who faces challenges and overcomes obstacles to achieve their goals. By positioning the brand as the hero in the story, you can create a powerful narrative that inspires and motivates your audience.

Ultimately, the key to telling a successful brand story is to understand your audience and craft a narrative that speaks to them on a personal level. By using storytelling techniques to create an emotional connection and highlighting the brand’s unique selling points, copywriters can create a narrative that resonates with their audience and helps establish the brand’s identity.

In conclusion, telling a brand story is an essential part of building a successful brand, and copywriters play a critical role in crafting that narrative. By using AI like Chat GPT, coupled with storytelling techniques, creating emotional connections, and highlighting unique selling points, brands can create compelling content that speaks to the brand’s values, mission, and target audience.

However, even with advances in technology, only a human can really dig deep and understand the nuances of your brand, and turn that into a captivating message that feels authentic to you AND your audience. Because the best stories come from the heart – not an AI machine.

Spencer Bonnell, Writer


‘How to Produce a Great Story’ – Emmy Wu, Senior Producer

Do you want your company to be remembered? Then your brand better tell a good story. 

Brand storytelling is essential for any company looking to differentiate themselves in today’s noisy and competitive market. It’s no longer just about selling a product or service, but about creating a narrative that resonates with your target audience and builds an emotional connection with them. 

Lucky for us (and you) – video production is one of the most effective ways to tell a brand’s story, and with the right planning and execution, can become one of the greatest tools you deploy in your marketing. 

Anytime you find yourself swooning over a video, story, or narrative – you better believe that it’s a result of great project management and a producer, who understands and can deliver on the logistics involved. 

As Senior Producer here at GMS Media, let me walk you through what it takes to tell a great story for YOUR brand – from a production management standpoint, so you can begin to think about if a brand video is for you. 

The first step in brand storytelling through video production is to identify the story you want to tell. Many people instantly think this story is about the company or CEO, when in fact, this involves understanding your target audience, their pain points, and how your brand can help solve them. 

At GMS Media, one of the things we love to do is help companies get clarity on and tell their story in a way that moves and inspires your audience. If you’re not sure what your brand story entails yet, you should get in touch with us to explore how we can help! 

Once you have a clear idea of the narrative, you’ll need to develop a storyboard and script that communicates it effectively. This is where a skilled video production team comes in and can help you refine your story and tell it in ways you might not have even thought of before!

The truth is, most clients can’t write a great script because, well, they’re not writers, and often, they’re too close to their business to communicate the message effectively. Our in-house writers bridge this gap and save our clients time and energy. 

From a logistics perspective, great project management is essential to ensure that the production process runs smoothly and on budget. This includes everything from scheduling shoots and booking locations, to managing budgets, and coordinating with the creative team. A well-planned project management strategy can help keep everyone on the same page and ensure that the final product meets the client’s expectations.

One of the key elements of effective project management in video production is clear communication. This involves regular check-ins with the client to ensure that their needs and expectations are being met, as well as ongoing communication with the creative and technical teams to ensure that everyone is on the same page. 

At GMS Media, we always have a Pre-Production Meeting with our clients to clearly establish their goals, and begin to iron out logistics before any real production begins. This communication also helps us to be proactive in identifying potential issues and addressing them before they become major problems.

Yes, we wear slippers in the office and to all pre-production meetings. Why? Because thinking slippers are cooler than thinking caps, and we like to be comfy cozy doing important work!

Another critical aspect is budget management. Video production can be an expensive process and slip out of scope, so it requires careful planning and tracking of crew labor and expenses, as well as making adjustments as necessary to ensure that the final product is of high quality without bleeding over.

A seasoned producer will know where they can make cuts in the budget without impacting the final results (or to communicate them when they will and provide the client with choices) – and hence another reason for getting an experienced team like GMS on your side. 

In addition to the logistics, video production also involves creative problem-solving. No matter how well-planned a project is, unexpected issues can arise during the production process. Maybe a client has an “off day” and doesn’t perform well on camera, or weather changes forces the shoot to go in a different direction, a great production team will be able to adapt to changing circumstances and come up with creative solutions to ensure that the project stays on track.

Ultimately, the production team and their producing skills play a huge factor in the quality of the story and the positive ripple effects that can have on your company. It’s about hiring a team who truly understands production by having years in the trenches. By working with a skilled video production team – like GMS Media –  companies can not only grow their audience and reach, but establish themselves as a leader in the industry. 

Are you next?

Emmy Wu, Producer + Operations Manager


‘Telling Your Brand Story with What If …?” Jason Hooper

I find that the most important aspect of story telling for brands is the magical “what if?”

If the creatives get it right, the customers can see themselves as a part of the story.

If the customers see themselves as part of the story, the product becomes a part of their lives.

If the product becomes a part of their lives, the customers will be loyal to the brand forever.

The magical “what if?” is part of the question that heroes ask themselves before they begin a quest:

• What if I was strong enough to slay the dragon?
• What if I was clever enough to solve the problem? • What if I was courageous enough to ask them out?

The hero’s journey has been a part of human existence since we began telling stories around the campfire. Joseph Campbell’s “The Hero with a Thousand Faces” inspired Star Wars and brought the concept of the hero’s journey to the public’s attention.

The basic hero’s journey looks like this:

  1. The ordinary world – the land where the hero begins.
  2. The call of adventure – an invitation.
  3. Refusing the call – the hero says no, it’s too much to handle.
  4. Meeting the mentor – a teacher is discovered.
  5. Crossing the first threshold – the hero steps into a new world (internal or external).
  6. Tests, allies, enemies – building a team and facing simple challenges.
  7. Approach to the inmost cave – getting closer to the objective.
  8. Ordeal – the hardest challenge so far.
  9. Reward (Seizing the sword) – there’s hope that the hero will succeed.
  10. The road back – there is danger on the path.
  11. Resurrection – the final battle.
  12. Return with the elixir – the victorious hero goes home.

Most ad lengths won’t allow for a full rendition of each stage, but the best give you the feeling of the journey. It can be as simple as someone doing laundry.

  1. Our hero wakes up to a busy and messy home.
  2. They face the mountain of laundry.
  3. They turn away and make coffee.
  4. Next to the coffee maker sits a shining box of laundry detergent.
  5. Our hero takes the detergent and enters the laundry room.
  6. Our hero collects fabric softener that’s guarded by an angry toy.
  7. The laundry machines are clear and ready to receive the laundry.
  8. Our hero wrestles the mountain of laundry.
  9. Most of the laundry makes it into the washing machine.
  10. A pair of jeans just won’t fit.
  11. Our hero removes the chapstick and keys from the pockets and fits the jeans in the wash.
  12. The buzzer rings and the hero’s family comes home to find the house calm, clean and the laundry folded neatly where the mountain once stood.

Connecting a brand’s story to the public works best when it’s primal. Following this template of how human stories have been told for centuries is one way to make the story primal.

Something you can try if you’re stuck on your next project is ask yourself a series of questions that begin with “what if?” and lead your customer on their own hero’s journey.

Jason Hooper, Producer + Creative Specialist


… If you made it all the way down here, we can tell you’re committed to storytelling … and you are in for a treat! Until April 30th 2023, we have 4 openings for a very special video package!We know that it’s not easy for businesses to stand out in today’s noisy and saturated market, so we won’t just make your video, instead our team is passionate about helping businesses like yours find your unique voice and story, and turning that into a powerful video message that resonates with your audience.

Grow Your Small Business Reach with Our Budget-Friendly 1-Day Video Production Package!

We understand that time is money for small businesses, which is why we’ve designed our package to be efficient and effective, so you can get your message out to your audience quickly and easily.

We take care of everything for you at every step of the way, from pre-production planning to post-production editing, so you can stay focused on business while we take care of all the production details for you.

With our 1-day video production package, you’ll get:

  • Story Session + Custom Script :: Story-finding session and a dedicated writer to discover your compelling brand story and write your video script.
  • Professional Studio Space or Location of Choice :: full day of filming at our professional studio space or your location of choice.
  • Expert Guidance :: A dedicated Producer and team of creative professionals to ensure you have the most productive and fun shoot ever!
  • State-of-the-Art Equipment :: 6k cameras and dedicated team of creative professionals to help bring your vision to life from shoot to edit.
  • Fast Deliverables :: Within 7 days, you can expect to see the 1st edit of your 1-minute brand video, plus a 15 second trailer to use on social media. Within 14 days, you’ll have all your deliverables packaged up so all you have to do it share the heck out of them!

Your investment :: $11,500 (payment plans available)

But one of the biggest benefits of this package is the results you’ll see.

Video content is quickly becoming one of the most popular and effective ways to market a business, with over 85% of businesses using video as a marketing tool. Video is also shared more than any other type of content on social media, making it a powerful way to expand your reach and increase your brand awareness.

Plus, as a special BONUS, you’ll also get a Personalized Video Strategy Roadmap that includes strategies that are CUSTOM for YOUR BUSINESS to leverage video in ways that will help you get noticed .. FAST. (Value $497)

Investing in our 1-day video production package may seem like a big commitment, but think about the money you’re leaving on the table. People who need you are passing you by because they don’t even realize you can help them.

So let’s change that 😉

By creating a powerful video that resonates with your audience, you’ll increase your brand awareness, build relationships with your market, and ultimately drive more sales and revenue for your business.  It’s also worth mentioning that at GMS, we don’t follow tacky trends and gimmicks. The videos we create for you will be marketing pieces you’ll be excited to use for years to come.

Don’t just take our word for it. Here’s what one of our satisfied clients had to say about our 1-day video production package:

“The GMS media team was excellent! I am from Canada and they made the entire process from start to finish seamless. They entire team was knowledgeable and knew just how to make my customer feel comfortable on camera. I cannot recommend working with them more! I wish every production company I have worked with was this great.” Paige Daley, Optisolve

“I have worked with GMS on several projects for Holland Partner group. They are absolutely wonderful to work with. They have a passion for making your vision come to life. Every member of the team has been kind, helpful, and professional. We are gearing up to work with them on another project in the coming weeks and it is such a relief to not have to worry about any aspect of the technical side because I know they have it handled.” Melissa Jensen, Holland Partner Group

If you’re ready to take your marketing to the next level and reach a larger audience in less time, then contact us today to learn more about our 1-day video production package. We can’t WAIT to help you find your unique story and turn that into a powerful video that inspires your audience into action.