“Dog Strikes Back”

This is excellent storytelling in 1:16!

When writing scenes, think of each one as a mini-story, a puzzle piece that fits into the entire picture of a story or screenplay.

Think of a commercial as flash fiction, and I recommend studying commercials for their storytelling abilities–good and bad.

Here, we’ve got the perfect Freytag’s Pyramid.

1. The dog has a problem: he wants to chase the Volkswagon but can’t fit through the dog door.

2. He decides to tackle this problem by losing weight.

3. The rising action occurs during the sequence in which he chases a ball down the stairs to rise up and do it again, pulls a rug weighted down with dumbbells across the floor, swims, and so forth.

4. The crisis occurs when the car goes by again: will he make it through the door this time?

5. The climax occurs when he makes it through the door.

6. The falling action occurs when he triumphantly chases the car.  This is followed by the final piece: the Volkswagon logo.

It’s complete, it’s beautiful, and it’s motivating.  A short story in a commercial.  Have you ever considered this while watching TV?


About Em-dash Lady

Em-dash Lady enjoys creative writing most of all, but her interests include art forms from music to writing to visual art to indie films and so forth. She's especially interested in how the art forms influence each other and blend together. She's a creative writing teacher and writer who mostly writes memoir and poetry about her favorite activity, watching TV. I would say I'm kidding, but I'm not. Naps are also her favorite. Too many favorites to count! Enjoy following Em-dash Lady as she figures out how she fits in the ever-evolving world of art.
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2 Responses to “Dog Strikes Back”

  1. I love this! What a great commercial. Not only is it an exercise in flash fiction, but I identify with that dog big time. He’s an empathetic character. I have to resist hot dogs that fall on the floor too.

  2. Dan Foley says:

    Brilliant! I love commercials. Unfortunately adverts are so darn expensive that the companies always ask for great stories and only give me 30 seconds to tell them. I have much better luck with 60 second spots. I’ve never been given 1:16, thats quite a treat but they didn’t waste any time. Tight shots, great cuts, nice story, I’m sure VW was delighted.

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