Visual Hammers Come Before The Verbal Nails: Content and Digital Experience

How much of the digital brands that you create are visual?

Since digital experiences are mostly screen-based, the answer is that almost all our work is visual.

Before anyone cares about our words, clients experience our brand, usually visually. Sure, our Kantian monkey minds boil everything down to words, but they come from experiences. In fact, studies of cognition teach us words are how we remember experiences.

So, while this lovely viral video sets out to make the case for the power of words in marketing, I think power of its story comes from just about everything but words.

So take quick look. Do you agree with their copy “that marketing is the power of words” or if you agree with their example, “that marketing is an accumulation of experience“?

8 Responses to "Visual Hammers Come Before The Verbal Nails: Content and Digital Experience"

  • Karolina

    May 9, 2012

    The video is truly very beautiful. It shows us the importance of choosing the right words when communicating. And demonstrates the power that simple words contain and how they can radically change a message and affect the world. Yes, I do agree “that the marketing is the power of words” and the video proves that.

  • Rodica

    May 9, 2012

    In this case, the words make all the difference. In marketing, copy content is aimed at stirring reactions and emotions to have the audience engaged. The blind man’s message was true and sincere but it provoked guilt for some passers-by or made them feel uncomfortable because they couldn’t do more, and in such moments people prefer to ignore or avoid the source of such feelings.
    In the message written by the woman, the blind man was not asking for help, he was just making a true statement that would induce a feeling of compassion, which is a much stronger feeling and more easily embraced by our human nature, being followed by a desire to do something, help or contribute somehow.

  • Trish Y

    May 10, 2012

    I am a bit torn in having to choose one or the other: is marketing the power of words OR marketing is an accumulation of experience. I’d rather not choose, so I’m going to say that I think it is both and by this I think the former falls into the other. The words are just a part of the experience, albeit a very integral part. Rodica and Karo make excellent points, the video is absolutely beautiful, it illustrates compassion and trust between two strangers, the man is able to trust the woman and the woman is pulled in by his circumstance and chooses to use her gift of sight and words to help him. I think Rodica is spot on, that sometimes the blunt truth of someone’s hardship can make people feel guilty and that guilt results in inaction. The new sign almost invokes the feeling of inspiration and in turn inspires passers by to lend a hand. I come from a place where content is king, but if you take a bigger look, content fits into an overall experience so I think they are not something to choose between, but they are tied together.

  • SOL

    May 10, 2012

    I have to say I cried when I saw the video … I agree with Trish, I think it is both. It is amazing how the right words can trigger so many emotions and change how your perceive things. But how do you know what are the right words?

  • Todd Bartlett

    May 10, 2012

    Hey Dave,

    I love the video. The creator does a great job of balancing the visual elements with the power of sound to capture the audience’s attention while simultaneously playing to their emotions. As Karolina notes, the video really captures the power of communication by using simple words to drive certain behaviors which is the core of advertising.


  • Cat

    May 10, 2012

    Like Trisha, I was torn between both statements and feel that they are entwined. I also come from a content background, but sometimes depending on the medium or context of a story, words aren’t the way to tell it. Interestingly enough we see words at the beginning (the man’s original sign), but they are more explaining his predicament (they don’t carry the weight or sentiment we see and feel with the words at the end). The following the scenes in the video before and after his sign is changed are the accumulation of his experience. We then see the copy that articulates that experience and that initiated those interactions. So I’m all for combining those statements–marketing can be accumulation of experience that is expressed with intention with words.

  • PoShun

    May 10, 2012

    It is a great video and it shows the importance of communication.
    One thing I learned is that, to change a few words can really change the world. Well, maybe not the world but how people think. Some sentences simply make you feel that you are connected to each other, to this world, and that make changes.

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