Designing the Experience: My Ongoing Experiments with Book Trailers and Storytelling

I’ve always been fascinated by Hollywood trailers. So much so, that 10 years ago, I was determined to develop a trailer for my next book at the time, Engage!. Since then, I launched every subsequent book with a trailer. You can see a compilation here.

With my latest book X, I broke that tradition. It wasn’t intentional however. I simply got so caught up with the launch and the following book tour that I couldn’t get to it. That didn’t sit well with me and so I decided to do something about it. Over the last several months, I started a few separate book trailer projects. The first two I’d like to share with you are experiments in that they deviate from my usual approach.

I wanted to share them with you here to get your feedback on which one I should use as one of the official trailers I’m set to debut.

For these two pilots, I partnered with Chief Nina Eric Prospero Torres of NinjaTropic to experiment with alternative takes on what a book trailer could be. In version 1, I emphasize the script and used imagery to visualize the narrative. Since this is a book about designing experiences in a digital economy, I aimed to find the right balance between words, visuals and music to evoke the senses and inspire an action or reaction.

Pilot v1

Pilot v2

Version 2 follows the same script and is visually similar to what you just watched. But with this one, I was distracted by a voice over artist who sounded a lot like Morgan Freeman. I just needed to hear what it sounded like because….Morgan Freeman! While he may not be the best imitator, it was an interesting experience and I’m curious what you think. The challenge here however, is the undulation and pace of a Morgan Freeman-like narrative slows down the experience and adds another minute to the trailer length.

Please let me know what you think and I’d appreciate it if you could share this post.

Thank you!

p.s. I’d also like to say thank you to NinjaTropic and Eric in particular. Thank you for your patience and openness to experiment!

Brian Solis is principal analyst and futurist at Altimeter, the digital analyst group at Prophet, Brian is world renowned keynote speaker and 7x best-selling author. His latest book, X: Where Business Meets Designexplores the future of brand and customer engagement through experience design. Invite him to speak at your event or bring him in to inspire and change executive mindsets.

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Brian Solis