Daniel Leal is a former laborer who lives in an abandoned home in rural California. Due to chronic health issues, his right leg was amputated. He accepted this, but then faced a more debilitating problem – depression.

During my stint at Peach Tree Health, I produced a series of videos to market our heath center. We served more than 14,000 low-income patients including the homeless. Obamacare introduced fierce competition for customers, making it imperative to get out and tell our story.

Our research showed that our target market chose their providers based on how they were treated by medical staff. Quality of care, cost, and medical facilities were secondary. 

Customers wanted to be treated with compassion and respect. This made Peach Tree Health a service business not unlike Westin Hotels and Princess Cruises in that we competed by making customers feel special in everything we did.

Powerful storytelling

Daniel’s story is real and emotional. It defines the Peach Tree brand. It’s effective because it has all the elements of good storytelling.

  • Presents Daniel, the main character, as a real human being that we can relate to
  • Uncovers conflicts and tensions in Daniel’s life and in his journey to find answers
  • Introduces other persons to the story and shows Daniel’s reactions to them
  • Unravels the plot by which these conflicts and tensions are resolved
  • Reveals Daniel’s insights, discoveries, and inspirations

The video highlight’s Daniel’s journey, not Peach Tree’s. There’s not even a mention of what Peach Tree does, it’s history, or how many locations it has. Yet it’s all about Peach Tree in a way that viewers can understand and appreciate. It’s good branding.

Production notes

Daniel Leal

With Daniel Leal and his friend

To get three minutes of choice material for the final video, I interviewed Daniel for 90 minutes. I asked him my prepared questions, but spent most of the time in unscripted conversation.

In addition to his medical story, we talked about his background, family, friends, and employment history. I asked a lot of questions about his interactions with certain people at Peach Tree Health. We talked about their actions and attitudes and any lessons or insights that he gained. All this gave me rich material to work from.

Strong story lines naturally pop out of interviews that are conducted holistically and thoroughly. However, to keep the video short, I selected only the snippets that were essential to telling the story. With the right cutaways and music track, the edits are seamless.


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