Videos on social media often include a narrative, a story, with clear roles. These may include roles such as the main character to whom things are happening (often the maker or narrator of the video), their adversary or helper, good and evil. The narrative may be a glimpse into a situation or a longer story, which may also include a caption overlay.
The aim of using narrativity is to make the user identify with the story. Identification means that the situation shown in the video is familiar to the viewer or that it involves recognisable feelings or thoughts, even though the viewer’s own experiences do not entirely correspond to those portrayed in the video. Identification takes place when we laugh at the content of a video or realise that what the video is talking about seems familiar, for example.
When identification occurs, the viewer becomes open to the topic or message of the video. This makes it easier to agree with the video or share its mindset.
It is important that we recognise the things that make us identify with or enjoy a particular video. These are the things that the makers of a video use when trying to influence the viewer. The objective of influencing can be, for example, to make the viewer watch the maker’s next video or to make the viewer agree with the video’s line of thinking. This is called an influencing attempt. By influencing the viewer, the makers of a video are able to promote their message and gain more views and followers.
Text: Saara Martikka
Image: Siru Tirronen